This Harvard online tool lets you measure your verbal creativity


A tool shared online by Harvard University offers a measure of our creativity, or more specifically our divergent thinking.

This online test focuses on verbal creativity and takes less than four minutes. So, ready to put your creativity to the test?

Psychologists at Harvard University have developed a test based on a unique challenge to exercise your inventiveness.

The test, taken by more than 9,000 people from 98 countries, is available online here. The rule is simple, but it’s designed to stretch your mind: choose 10 words that are as different from each other as possible.

In less than four minutes, the time to complete the questionnaire, the algorithm that calculates the results generates a score ranging from 0 to 200. The average score of the participants is 78.

Note that the test is only available in English. Experts recommend that you take the test before you learn more about the process it uses.

Measuring verbal creativity

The purpose of this test is to measure our divergent thinking through our verbal creativity. Indeed, the divergent association task of the test offers “a quick measure of verbal creativity and divergent thinking, the ability to generate various solutions to open-ended problems,” the researchers explain.

“People who are more creative tend to generate words that have greater distances between them.”

To measure the distance or relationship between words, researchers rely on Common Crawl, a corpus of thousands of different words on billions of web pages. An algorithm calculates the distance between words. For example, while “dog” and “cat” are close to each other, “cat” and “book” are further apart.

“The total score is simply the average of these word distances: greater distances result in a higher score.”

But what if you get a low score? Don’t panic, that doesn’t mean you’re not creative.

“This task is a unique measure of one aspect of verbal creativity and does not capture many types of real-world creative achievements,” the specialists explain.

“There are many types and aspects of creativity that the task does not measure,” reassure the creators of the test.

“No task can fully capture creativity, which is why in studies we often use multiple measures at the same time.” – AFP

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