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Alycia Hund

Mentor Department



Researchers and practitioners have long been interested in understanding creativity and related aspects of thinking. For example, studies have focused on the ways in which convergent and divergent thinking and personality factors relate to creativity (Guilford, 1950). Traditionally, convergent thinking involves finding the correct answer to a problem; in contrast, divergent thinking involves generating a creative response through spontaneous exploration of different ideas, perhaps via associative processes (Guilford, 1950). Past research shows that divergent thinking and openness to experience, an aspect of personality that involves imagination and exploration, are related (e.g., Chamorro-Premuzic, 2008; MacKinnon, 1962, 1965; Silvia et al., 2009). The goal of our study is to further explore the relations between various measures of convergent and divergent thinking and openness to experience. Participants will be 100 ISU students 18 years or older recruited through the Department of Psychology online sign-up system. They will complete our measures via an online survey methodology that will include the Remote Associates Test (RAT), the Unusual Uses Test, a vocabulary test, the 10-item TIPI Personality questionnaire, and a demographic survey. The RAT is a well-known test of convergent thinking, where three unrelated words are shown, and participants must relate the fourth word. The Unusual Uses Test is a popular test of divergent thinking, where participants must come up with creative and uncommon uses for an object. But, according to Gabora (2019), the RAT may be more suitably classified as a divergent thinking test, especially when insight is involved. If the RAT relies on divergent thinking, then we would expect to observe strong, positive correlations between the RAT and Unusual Uses Test and openness to experience measures from the personality questionnaire. However, we would expect to observe no correlations with vocabulary, a convergent thinking measure. These results would provide a better understanding of creativity processes.


Authors: Ellis Heyen, Lucas Jasinski, Natalie Main, Rachel Thomas, Nathan Trice, Lauryn Zinke

Redefining Creativity: A New Approach To Understanding Divergent And Convergent Thinking And Personality