Am I actually creative?

No.  I’m just not.  But, honestly, I couldn’t help but feeling pretty good about how I did on this Divergent Association Task.  (I learned about it from Scott Alexander’s monthly links where he said it had been making the rounds on twitter and got me thinking how did none of the interesting twitter people I follow post this).  Anyway:

The Divergent Association Task is a quick measure of verbal creativity and divergent thinking, the ability to generate diverse solutions to open-ended problems. The task involves thinking of 10 words that are as different from each other as possible. For example, the words cat and dog are similar, but the words cat and book are not. People who are more creative tend to generate words that have greater distances between them. These distances are inferred by examining how often the words are used together in similar contexts. Still, this task measures only a sliver of the complex process of creativity. See the frequently asked questions for more details.

We have validated this task on around 9,000 participants from 98 countries across the world. People who score higher on the task tend to be able to:

  • think of novel and more varied uses for common objects (Alternative Uses Task)
  • find associations between related words (e.g., giraffe and scarf; Bridge-the-Associative-Gap Task)
  • solve more insight and analytical problems

So, I did really well, which actually has be thinking that simply an expansive vocabulary (which I happily admit to) might be a substantial confound.  Finding novel uses for objects is sure as hell not my forte.  Then again, my word choices here are not exactly highfalutin.  Anyway, you should probably try it yourself before you let yourself get influenced by my results, but here they are:

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

2 Responses to Am I actually creative?

  1. Nicole K says:

    Got a 93.9 with word list
    aluminum, yarn, jail, mountain, xenophobia, linguistics, fecal

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