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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The development of a new measure of creative abilities in grade five children Ellis, Julia Litwintschik

Abstract

The development of the instrument, Solving Real Problems: exercises in productive thinking (SRP), was prompted by the intent to design creative problem solving tasks that would be: (1) stimulating from the examinee's point of view; (2) complex; (3) logically related to creative behavior as it occurs in the examinee's "everyday world"; (4) likely to provide for qualitative indices of originality or creative thinking. To develop SRP tasks, subjects were first asked to submit examples of what they considered to be "everyday, high-interest problems" expressed in the format of "Something I want to do and why I can't do it." From a pool of problems thus obtained, tasks were selected which appeared to allow for breadth in solution approaches. Attention was also given to ensuring variety in terms of content and apparent difficulty of the problems. Examinees were asked to generate as many different solutions as they could imagine for each problem. An exploratory approach to the development of scoring protocols for the SRP was utilized in order to provide for the identification of manifestations of creativity that might be idiosyncratic to the age level of subjects in the study or to these kinds of tasks. Data collected included the SRP, an external criterion of creativity, and measures of ability and personality. Seven SRP scores were developed: Fluency, Flexibility, Wishing, Personal Capability, Fantasy Factor, Analytic Thinking, and Conceptual Thinking. Stepwise regression analyses revealed considerable overlap between the academic achievement measure and the SRP variables — Fluency, Flexibility, and Personal Capability — in predicting to performance on the external criterion. Discriminant function analyses indicated that the SRP variables, Analytic Thinking and Conceptual Thinking, were the most powerful discriminators of the Creative Group (as defined by performance on the external criterion). These two SRP variables were relatively independent of academic achievement. Convergent validity analyses involving the external criterion, the SRP variables, and case study variables supported a dual ability/personality interpretation of the SRP variables, Conceptual Thinking and Analytic Thinking. While most SRP variables provided little information beyond that available from measures of academic achievement, Conceptual Thinking and Analytic Thinking were judged to have promise for further research and development work in the measurement of creativity.

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