ERIC Number: EJ855216
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 10
Myth 5: Creativity Is Too Difficult to Measure
Treffinger, Donald J.
Gifted Child Quarterly, v53 n4 p245-247 2009
In his 1982 response to the myth that "creativity is too difficult to measure," Dr. Joe Khatena (a long-time contributor to the literature on creativity), characterized creativity as the "most exciting dimension of mental functioning." Building on a three-dimensional view of creativity (emphasizing the "individual," the "environment," and the "cosmos" or "suprarational" dimensions), Khatena described a hierarchy of creative levels from the fundamental, rational to the highest or most esoteric levels of creative genius (in Torrance's phrase the "further reaches" of creativity). Arguing cogently for the importance of clarity about one's conception of creativity, he proposed that, although the highest levels yet eluded assessment, it was certainly a myth that the more fundamental, rational dimensions were unable to be measured. As individuals review progress since Khatena's response, the myth still persists, and his conclusion that some relevant dimensions of creativity can be measured remains valid. In several ways, however, the nature and expressions of the myth have changed, and several closely related myths have also emerged. Is creativity "too difficult" to measure? People should acknowledge Khatena's wise conclusion in 1982 that "the measurement of creativity, like other facets of intellectual functioning, will always be a challenge," and hold in mind the caution that any complex form of behavior should never be presumed to be "easy" to assess. Nonetheless, if they establish the goal of gathering data to understand the richness and breadth of creativity, in an appropriate context and for appropriate purposes, assessing creativity is a possible and worthwhile undertaking.
Descriptors: Intelligence, Creativity, Cognitive Processes, Measurement Techniques, Evaluation Methods, Academically Gifted, Misconceptions, Creative Thinking
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
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