How Creative Are You? Scientists Developed a 4-Minute Test to Find Out

Jake Rossen
Some common traits of creative types can be objectively measured.
Some common traits of creative types can be objectively measured. / DNY59/E+ via Getty Images
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Nobody needs to be told they’re creative, nor can any test objectively define whether someone is, isn’t, or to what extent. But there may be certain neurological processes that are more common in creative types. If that’s true, a simple 4-minute test may shed some light on how verbally imaginative you might be.

The test is named the Divergent Association Task, and it’s best taken when you don’t know the methodology behind it. You can find it here, and keep reading for an explanation when you’re ready.

According to CNN, the DAT was initially conceived by Harvard University postdoctoral fellow Jay Olson, who also co-authored the study. It involves thinking of 10 nouns that are as far apart in definition from one another as possible. If you think of spoon, for example, it’s not necessarily a great leap to name fork or cereal next. It might be better to say puppet.

Olson believes the test can assess both verbal creativity and divergent thinking, or the ability to conjure up a variety of solutions to problems. Your score is based on a calculation of the semantic distance between words, and the further, the better. Why? Connecting remote concepts may be one indication you have an aptitude for figuring things out.

There are caveats. If the test is accurate, it measures only a small fraction of the thinking that goes into creativity. If your score is low, it’s not indicative of a lack of creativity, only that you may be stronger in other areas. And if you see people posting high scores on social media, remember that users are less likely to share low scores.

[h/t Science Alert]

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