Can creativity researchers be creative about how creativity should be measured?Davide Piffer suggests that three factors need to be understood and measured separately.
Can creativity be measured? An attempt to clarify the notion of creativity and general directions for future research
He says: The goal of this investigation is to demonstrate that much of the confusion regarding the measurement of creativity is caused by the insufficient clarity of its definition and to provide suggestions for an improved assessment and new possible tools of investigation (e.g. interviews).
It is shown that three dimensions of creativity (novelty, appropriateness and impact)
constitute a framework within which creativity can be defined and measured.
Further clarity to the definition of creativity is added by distinguishing between person’s and product’s creativity and providing definitions for each.
Based on this new definition, it is argued that Divergent Thinking, Remote Associates or some personality scales can be considered neither the only components of the creative process/cognition/potential nor “creativity tests”. The use of the terms “creativity test” and “measure of creative process” in the literature are criticized and it is indicated when they should be used.
It is also shown that claims to have found a general factor of creativity are based on methodological and conceptual errors.
Finally it is concluded that a person’s creativity can only be assessed indirectly (for example with self report questionnaires or official external recognition) but it cannot be measured directly.