What are the measures of creativity and how do we know if a person is creative? According to Ellis Paul Torrance (8th October 1915 – 12 July 2003), also known as ‘The Creativity Man’, there are four measures of creativity: originality, fluency, flexibility, and elaboration.
Originality is the ability to come out with new ideas. Artists produce original works of art, composers produce original music pieces, poets write original poems, investors come out with original inventions and students come out with original essays. Even teachers do write original testimonials and reports.
Fluency is the ability to come out with lots of ideas whereas flexibility is the ability to produce lots of different kinds of ideas. A fluently creative person can produce hundreds of ideas, for example, on how to make money, on the uses of a paper-clip and on designing a dress. With flexibility not only can he think of ideas of the same kind but ideas of many different kinds.
As illustration, fluency in thinking of ways to get money include ideas such as selling books, magazines, toys, cakes, drinks, flowers, bookmarkers, stamps, coins, etc. Flexibility in thinking of ways to get money would include not only selling all the items above but also exchanging the items, making various items of sale, working for money, borrowing money, getting sponsors, soliciting donations, organizing a fiesta, jogathon, walkathon, etc.
Elaboration is the ability to get into fine and minute details as in drawing things in detail, describing incidents at length and in explaining ideas and concepts in depth. A person who possesses all four skills is more creative than one who does any one, two or three of the skills of creativity. Do you have all four skills? If not, don’t be discouraged. Remember: creativity is a talent we are all born with and it is also can be learned and developed overtime. You are creative!
Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)