Reversing The Creativity Crisis

The Potomac River

Did you know that “Research Suggests We’re All Getting Less Creative”?

The Torrance Test [of Creative Thinking] has been used for decades to evaluate creativity. That has allowed researchers to track how well scores on the test line up with achievement, and the results are clear: The Torrance Test is actually a better predictor of real-world success than traditional IQ tests. There’s only one hitch. Scores on the test may be scientifically valid but they have also apparently been creeping down for decades.

A researcher at the University of William and Mary analyzed 300,000 Torrance Test scores since the ’50s. She found that creativity scores began to nosedive in 1990. She concluded that we’re now facing a ‘creativity crisis’.

Although I’ve read about the Torrance Test and it seems to be well-accepted in psychological circles, I have no idea if this three decade decline in creativity scores actually means anything, much less a “crisis”.

However, even if you don’t accept the premise, the scientists’ prescription for reversing the crisis still contains some great ideas.

The good news is that just as scientists are clear about the cause of our “creativity crisis,” they are clear on what individuals can do to reclaim their natural inventiveness. Actively scheduling time to think, reflect, and experiment into your days, putting reasonable boundaries on your use of passive tech (there are obviously countless ways to use your devices to express yourself and create), varying your routine and your company, and getting out for more long walks can all help ensure you’re bucking the trend and nurturing your personal creativity.

We claim to put great emphasis on teaching creativity in school, so maybe we could integrate some of that advice into the classroom?

Scheduling time to “think, reflect, and experiment”, encouraging kids to use tech to “express yourself and create”, and everyone taking long walks, all sound like great uses of the school day to me.

Something to think about as we move into post-pandemic schooling.

The photo represents my attempt at being creative. You be the judge as to whether it succeeds.

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