Some time ago, in the early 1960s, a young psychology named Sarnoff Mednick had stumbled on a possible technique for gauging creativity in an individual.
The curious Dr. Mednick wondered, as many of us do today, how exactly do you weigh creative potential? What he discovered was that creativity is representative of associated memory. When your brain connects ideas together, it’s using creativity to do so, and often new ideas can result.
With this knowledge Mednick helped to create a type of creativity test that is still used regularly today, known as the Remote Association Test (or RAT). If you want to weigh your own level of creativity, keep reading.
Here’s an example, albeit small, Remote Association Test to show you how the process works. You’re going to read three unrelated words on the next line. Your goal is to come up with a fourth, independent word that can also be associated with each of the three original words. So, for example, the three test words are:
Notch, flight, spin.
Take a minute to think of a fourth word, then consider the given answer, in this case it’s the word: top.
If you were able to come up with a solution quickly, your creative abilities are top‒notch. Even if your answer was different from the “given answer” your creative potential is certainly still there. As long as the fourth word ties directly back into each of the first three words uniquely, it’s representative of your creative abilities.
Let’s try one more example, see how you can do on this one, but don’t spend more than one minute trying to figure it out. The three words for this test are:
Wheel, bump, white.
Take another minute to see if you can come up with a fourth word, but don’t stress yourself. Ready for the solution? Well, here’s the catch: there wasn’t a fourth word for this particular mix of words, I merely listed three completely random words off the top of my head.
If you were able to come up with a fourth, associated word for the second test, congratulations: your creative capacity is likely above average. It’s the ability to quickly create associations between these words that signifies a creative knack, if you will. Of course, the test isn’t definitive, and there are a lot of aspects that go into creative thinking, but the RAT is a fun way to explore your abilities.
Want to see how you do on a few more tests like these, orsee how your friends and co-workers perform? Try browsing around the large list of Remote Association Tests on the Berkeley website.
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