Re: Intelligence Vs. Creativity

From: HARNAD Stevan (
Date: Wed Jun 05 1996 - 17:55:23 BST

> From: "Ahern, Catherine" <>
> Date: Sat, 25 May 1996 14:33:46 GMT
> To be intelligent one has or shows understanding, is
> clever and quick of mind, whereas to be creative is to bring
> something into existence, to give rise to something or to
> originate. It seems easier to assess levels of intelligence,
> through the use of IQ tests than it is to assess levels of
> creativity as there is no such equivalent test.
> IQ tests usually select an activity or skill and then
> design tests to measure individual performances in the
> specified activity. A high score will indicate a high level
> of performance and a low score will indicate a low level of
> performance.

Remember to discuss how intelligence tests are VALIDATED (by making sure
scores correlate positively with a direct measure of what they are
trying to predict, e.g., later school or work performance).

> However it is difficult to measure creativity
> in such a way because the skills are harder to define as
> they are usually unique and diverse.
> "Divergent thinking" tests of "creativity" were
> designed without any substantial validation. They differ
> from "convergent" tests of "intelligence" in that they are
> open ended and do not have right or wrong answers. There are
> also problems in validating creativity because it is very
> difficult to define what what terms such as "giftedness" and
> "genius" mean.
> There is an apparent contradiction between the
> predictability of objective tests and the unpredictability
> of creativity. Confusion arises with the measurement of
> general and specific intellectual skills as there is no
> clear idea about how they interact together in creativity.
> The Life Cycle affects measurements too as IQ-related skills
> and knowledge improve with age until adulthood, whereas
> creativity seems to occur randomly at different ages. It
> seems impossible to measure creativity unless it depends on
> a non creative, intellectual skill. On the other hand
> intelligence is relatively easy to assess through IQ tests,
> which give clear indications of levels of performance.

Good job. For an A, relate it to the bigger questions: algorithms,
rules, causality, prediction, chance.

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