ERIC Number: EJ1088891
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 54
Assessing Associative Distance among Ideas Elicited by Tests of Divergent Thinking
Acar, Selcuk; Runco, Mark A.
Creativity Research Journal, v26 n2 p229-238 2014
Tests of divergent thinking represent the most commonly used assessment of creative potential. Typically they are scored for total ideational output (fluency), ideational originality, and, sometimes, ideational flexibility. That scoring system provides little information about the underlying process and about the associations among ideas. It also does not really capture the key principle of divergent thinking, namely that ideas may be found when cognition explores new (divergent) directions. The investigation reported here used 3 independent semantic networks, each computerized and previously validated, to quantify the distance between responses (ideas) to several tests of divergent thinking. These sources were WordNet (WN), Word Associations Network (WAN), and IdeaFisher (IF). Statistical analyses indicated that remote and close associations can be reliably measured when different sources of associative strength are used. Inter-item reliability (alpha coefficients) of what these networks had identified as remote associations were higher than those from close associations. Inter-item reliability values were higher in the WAN and IF, which provided shorter lists than the WN. Therefore, longer associative lists did not necessarily produce better indices of remote and close associations. Also, scores from a measure of creative attitudes and values were significantly correlated with remote, but not with close, associations across all 3 networks. This finding is very important because it shows that people with a higher tendency of creative attitudes and values, as measured by divergent thinking tests, are more likely to make remote associations rather than close associations. Limitations and future directions are discussed.
Descriptors: Creative Thinking, Creativity, Creativity Tests, Correlation, Scores, Statistical Analysis, Reliability, Stimuli, Comparative Analysis, Semantics, Convergent Thinking, Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students, Likert Scales, Regression (Statistics)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Remote Associates Test; Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking