Saturday, 3 January 2015

Creativity and those bricks again

Paul Silvia has kindly handed over his Powerpoint presentation, with which the symposium on intelligence and creativity commenced, together with three key papers on which it was based.


This work has an interesting link with neuropsychological tests of fluency, in which patients are given one minute in which to say as many words as they can with the initial letters f, a, s (the initial word frequencies differ, though this is not usually analysed in clinical settings) and later within the categories of boy’s names and animals, and then alternating between fruits and furniture. You may say that none of these fluency tasks are very creative, but they share a common sub-component with the many creativity tests which use the “as many as possible” instruction. For example, in giving boy’s names should one try an alphabetic strategy or a friends and family strategy?

Silvia shows that cognitive abilities are heavily involved in creative thought, and I think it could be argued that any fluency task has some basic features in common with creativity tasks.


  1. I'm pretty confident that I's do much worse now (I'm in my late 60s) than when I was a whippersnapper. But presumably plenty is already known about intellectual decline. Perhaps it's not too anti-PC to perform research into that topic.

  2. Yes, Ian Deary has lots of data on this. Symbol-digit (coding) is the best predictor, apparently, and much better than a brain scan. It takes two minutes, and is much, much cheaper.