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Creativity appears to be an important part of cognitive capacities and problem solving. Creativity is one’s ability to generate ideas that are novel, surprising, and compelling (Kaufman and Sternberg, 2010). This chapter will focus on the creative-cognitive approach, which seeks to further understand how human minds produce creative ideas.
Divergent thinking (DT) tests have been used since the early days of creativity research. These tests are based on theory and empirical research, each of which has changed over the years. The present chapter reviews those theories and that research. Special attention is paid to the most effective methods for using DT tests and the psychometric evidence that supports their use. Research showing associations between DT and health, personality, mood, attitude, and development is also summarized. A few common misinterpretations are noted, as are the most meaningful indicators of DT. If DT tests are used correctly, they are useful indicators of the potential for creative thinking.
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