Thursday, August 19, 2010

Creativity Crisis?

After rising for decades in America, the scores on a test that is the gold standard for measuring creativity have been falling.

Apparently, the test predicts future creative accomplishment incredible well.

From this Newsweek article:

The correlation to lifetime creative accomplishment was more than three times stronger for childhood creativity than childhood IQ.

Like intelligence tests, Torrance's test—a 90-minute series of discrete tasks, administered by a psychologist—has been taken by millions worldwide in 50 languages. Yet there is one crucial difference between IQ and CQ scores. With intelligence, there is a phenomenon called the Flynn effect—each generation, scores go up about 10 points. Enriched environments are making kids smarter. With creativity, a reverse trend has just been identified and is being reported for the first time here: American creativity scores are falling.


Creativity scores had been climbing until 1990 but since then have reversed the trend.

The article points out that it's too early to determine why U.S. creativity scores are declining but suggests some possible culprits. 

- # of hours kids now spend in front of the TV/playing videogames
- Creativity development (or lack thereof) in our schools.

Seems a trend worth reversing. It can't be a good thing as far as economic progress over the long run is concerned.

Adam

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