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Quantifying creativity: can measures span the spectrum?


Because the cognitive neuroscientists have become increasingly interested in the phenomenon of creativity, the issue arises of how creativity is to be optimally measured. Unlike intelligence, which can be assessed across the full range of intellectual ability creativity measures tend to concentrate on different sections of the overall spectrum. After first defining creativity in terms of the three criteria of novelty, usefulness, and surprise, this article provides an overview of the available measures. Not only do these instruments vary according to whether they focus on the creative process, person, or product, but they differ regarding whether they tap into "little-c" versus "Big-C" creativity; only productivity and eminence measures reach into genius-level manifestations of the phenomenon. The article closes by discussing whether various alternative assessment techniques can be integrated into a single measure that quantifies creativity across the full spectrum.

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