Decline of Creativity


The standard creativity test which is used in the assessment of creativity is the Torrance Test of Creativity, which was developed by psychologist Ellis Paul Torrance (October 8, 1915  – July 12, 2003) an American psychologist from Milledgeville, Georgia in 1966.

Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) test has had 50 years of research behind it to be considered useful and statistically valid.

The Torrance tests these areas:

  1. Fluency: The total number of responses
  2. Originality: The statistical rarity of the responses
  3. Elaboration: The amount of detail in the responses
  4. Abstractness in Titles
  5. Resistance to Closure

As mentioned in The Creativity Crisis, this is the test that continues to show a decline in creativity among all age groups.

The Flynn Effect

Definition of the Flynn Effect: The substantial and long-sustained increase in both fluid and crystallized intelligence test scores measured in many parts of the world from roughly 1930 to the present day.

It’s important to note that the Flynn Effect–which HAD found a generational RISE in IQ with each new generation since 1930 (and has only just recently stopped).

Contrast that to the Torrance Tests of Creativity which has showed continual DECLINE for the more than a decade.

“It’s good to invest in creative education because these are some of the skills that should be left [after automation],” says Stian Westlake, head of policy and research at Nesta, the UK innovation charity.

Tweet this! While IQ scores continue to increase (Flynn Effect) #Creativity continues to DROP Torrance_test-Factors


The Creativity Crisis

Newsweek- Creativity Crisis

Back in 1958, Ted Schwarzrock was an 8-year-old third grader when he became one of the “Torrance kids,” a group of nearly 400 Minneapolis children who completed a series of creativity tasks newly designed by professor E. Paul Torrance. Schwarzrock still vividly remembers the moment when a psychologist handed him a fire truck and asked, “How could you improve this toy to make it better and more fun to play with?” He recalls the psychologist being excited by his answers. In fact, the psychologist’s session notes indicate Schwarzrock rattled off 25 improvements, such as adding a removable ladder and springs to the wheels. That wasn’t the only time he impressed the scholars, who judged Schwarzrock to have “unusual visual perspective” and “an ability to synthesize diverse elements into meaningful products.”

Definition of CREATIVITY

The accepted definition of creativity is production of something original and useful, and that’s what’s reflected in the tests. There is never one right answer. To be creative requires divergent thinking (generating many unique ideas) and then convergent thinking (combining those ideas into the best result).

In the 50 years since Schwarzrock and the others took their tests, scholars—first led by Torrance, now his colleague, Garnet Millar—have been tracking the children, recording every patent earned, every business founded, every research paper published, and every grant awarded. They tallied the books, dances, radio shows, art exhibitions, software programs, advertising campaigns, hardware innovations, music compositions, public policies (written or implemented), leadership positions, invited lectures, and buildings designed.

Tweet this! While IQ scores continue to increase (Flynn Effect) #Creativity continues to DROP

Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William & Mary discovered this in May, after analyzing almost 300,000 Torrance scores of children and adults. Kim found creativity scores had been steadily rising, just like IQ scores, until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward. “It’s very clear, and the decrease is very significant,” Kim says. It is the scores of younger children in America—from kindergarten through sixth grade—for whom the decline is “most serious.”

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