How Are You Creative?

How Are You Creative?

Psychology September 05, 2017 / By Dr. KH Kim
How Are You Creative?

Want to discover how you are creative? Take the new Torrance Tests of Creative Climates, Attitudes, and Thinking skills (CATs) now. It is FUN and FREE!

The Torrance Tests

Creativity is an exciting and unpredictable collision of environments, attitudes, and skills that produces unique and useful innovations. There is no one reliable way to guess what an innovation will look like ahead of time. However, in 1966, E. Paul Torrance, considered by many to be “The Father of Creativity,” published the Figural (F) and Verbal (V) versions of his Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT). They do an outstanding job of predicting which people are most likely to produce innovations. The TTCT-F is the most widely researched and used creativity test (it’s been translated into over 35 languages). My meta-analyses show that TTCT scores are the best predictors of creative achievement among all available creativity tests, a conclusion also borne out by the results of 40 and 50-year longitudinal studies on the TTCT.

However, the TTCT-F and V do have some limitations. They are over 60 years old and available only as paper-pencil tests. It takes a long time to score. Their results might be influenced by scores’ subjectivity and/or test-takers’ familiarity.

The Torrance Tests of CATs (Climates, Attitudes, and Thinking skills)

The CATs test is a patent-pending assessment system developed over 10 years of scholarship and field research. It successfully addresses the limitations listed above through online availability and a computerized, instant and objective scoring system that uses image/pattern recognition capabilities without losing any of the nuance of the original tests. It also measures all three steps of the CATs framework[1] described below. CATS is a tool that illustrates how creativity develops into innovation:

  1. Cultivate the creative Climates (e.g., the necessary traits and resources of your home, school, and organizational, environments for your creativity to develop into innovation). The four climates most conductive to creativity resemble the climates that best grow strong and healthy plants: a bright sun, fierce storms, nutrient-diverse soil, and open space.
  2. Nurture the creative Attitudes (e.g., the common characteristics of notable innovators). There are 27 total attitudes spread across and developed through the four climates. As potential innovators engage in the myriad tasks that lead to innovation, they bring each of these attitudes to bear.
  3. Apply the creative Thinking skills (i.e., inbox, outbox, and newbox thinking). ION thinking describes a dynamic strategy of analyzing, dreaming about, and solving problems. Potential innovators can use these strategies to successfully work through any project they begin.

The CATs Test consists of:

  • Likert-scale questions (statements are rated from strongly disagree to strongly agree) to measure your current creative climates:
    • The bright sun climate provides inspirations and encouragements
    • The fierce storm climate sets high expectations and issues challenges
    • The nutrient-diverse soil climate provides diverse experiences and points of view
    • The open space climate provides the freedom to think deeply and differently
  • Yes-or-no questions to measure your creative attitudes:
    • The sun attitudes: Optimistic, big-picture-thinking, curious, spontaneous, playful, and energetic.
    • The storm attitudes: Independent, self-disciplined, diligent, self-efficacious, resilient, risk-taking, persistent, and uncertainty-accepting.
    • The soil attitudes: Open-minded, bicultural, mentored, complexity-seeking, and resourceful.
    • The space attitudes: Emotional, compassionate, self-reflective, autonomous, daydreaming, nonconforming, gender-bias-free, and defiant.
  • Figural questions (i.e., requiring drawn responses) to measure your creative thinking skills[2]:
    • Outbox fluid thinking:  measured by your total number of responses to five questions requiring a list of your responses as quickly/plentifully as possible.
    • Outbox flexible thinking:  measured from your drawings that show (or lack) an:
      • Open perspective
      • Unusual perspective
      • Internal perspectives
    • Outbox original thinking: 
      • Nonconforming ideas: measured by the pattern-matching questions
      • Statistically rare ideas: measured from your drawings that are common or rare
    • Newbox synthesis skills (including inbox critical thinking):
      • Big-picture thinking/Boundary-crossing: measured from your drawings
      • Pattern-finding (reflecting visual memory): measured by the pattern-matching questions
      • Dot-connecting: measured by the five-sense thinking questions
    • Newbox elaboration skills (including inbox critical thinking): measured from the details of your:
      • Drawings
      •  Titles for the drawings

Final Report Profiling Your CATs

Upon completing the CATs test, a report for how you are creative will provide you with graphs showing the numerical values of and written feedback on:

  • Your sun, storm, soil, and space climates, profiling how conducive your environments are to your creative process.
  • Your sun, storm, soil, and space attitudes, profiling how conducive your attitudes are to your creative thinking.
  • Your ION thinking, profiling the strengths and weaknesses of your creative thinking skills.

A link to suggestions for further enhancement of each of your weak attitudes and thinking skills is also provided.

Want to discover how you are creative?  Take the new Torrance Tests of Creative Climates, Attitudes, and Thinking skills (CATs) now. It is FUN and FREE!


[1] KH Kim (2016). The creativity challenge: How we can recapture American Innovation. Amherst, NJ: Prometheus Books.

[2] Inbox expertise is not measured because it depends upon knowledge of a self-selected topic of expertise, which is too variable to be measured in this test. 

comments powered by Disqus