Just as an IQ test tracks intelligence, the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking measures your CQ: how well you think creatively. Usually a 90-minute series of discrete tasks administered by a psychologist, the Torrance Test is not a perfect measure of creativity. But it has proven remarkably accurate in predicting creative accomplishments. We asked a group of ordinary children and adults to try their hands at several drawing tests: everyone was presented with incomplete line drawings and was given five minutes to turn them into pictures. We then sent a selection of the results to two well-known creativity scholars. James C. Kaufman is a professor of psychology at California State University at San Bernardino who has published over 120 writings on creativity, including co-authoring Essentials of Creativity Assessment and co-editing The International Handbook of Creativity. Kyung Hee Kim is a professor at the College of William & Mary and has authored numerous papers on the efficacy of the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking. Previously with the University of Georgia’s Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development, she lectures internationally on the TTCT and trains practitioners on how to score the tests.
To score the Torrance drawing tasks, scholars aren’t looking for the best artist. They are looking for ideas—more ideas, original ideas, and elaboration on those ideas. Images also score higher if they tell a story, convey emotions, see things from a different angle, and have a sense of motion. Points get knocked off for responses that are very common. Sharks are popular—so are hats—perhaps because fins and hats feel like a starting point for drawing. On the other hand, details, humor, sense of visual perspective are pluses. Kaufman commented on the drawings; Kim also gave them a numerical score. (Because the scholars saw only a small sample of the individuals work, this led to sometimes different interpretations by Kim and Kaufman.)
Shown above are the original incomplete line drawings given to our brave volunteers. All tests are courtesy of Scholastic Testing Service, Inc.
—Gallery compiled by Raina Kelley and Johannah Cornblatt