The Nature of Creativity

Today was the last day of our mini vacation and we spent it by going to The National Zoo. While that was fun and all this post is about what happened before that. On the way to the zoo I tuned into DC101. A station I don’t listen to often when at home even though I can due to the power of the internet. I don’t have a lot of morning activity anymore and as of late I am always listening to an audio book while in my car.

This morning they were talking about how a scientist has claimed to have found the secret to creativity. The test is to list ten words in two to four minutes. They all have to be nouns and they can’t be proper nouns or technical terms. I feel like I cheated a bit because this is all I thought about today and I wanted to take the test, but while taking it I learned that thinking about it didn’t matter. When you’re on the clock thinking becomes constrained.

For my ten words I choose; blunderbuss, deciduous, marsupial, boulevard, library, ultraviolet, cutlery, bowler, fireman, and helicopter. This netted me a score of 93.46 higher than 98.97% of the people that have taken the test. I do not know if this is accurate but I can tell you I don’t feel more creative than 98.97% of people. It’s probably because the test is a small sample size.

The most interesting thing is the first couple words I listed were the first ones that came to me while listening to the radio segment and that added up to a total of four words. It was fewer than I thought and I figure if they were the first words to come to me then they would have probably been the first words to come to me if I had managed to not think of anything until later in the day and taken the test.

It is an interesting theory. The idea to measure and quantify creativity. My score makes me feel like I have a power that I haven’t done enough with. I am certain all the writing I do has been enjoyed by the handful of people that read it, but is it really more creative than 98.97% of other writing out there or is it when I hear word test my mind thinks back to a day in elementary school where myself and a friend were writing a story and needed a synonym for gun and used blunderbuss.

I can’t tell you the answer nor will I pretend to, but I have long thought that creativity is only half the equation. There are people that aren’t creative at all that manage to engage in the arts simply as a way of making money and they succeed where so many more creative people fail. It is something all ages through all cultures have discussed. Now we’re trying to quantify and determine a formula for creativity. It will be interesting to see what becomes of us.   

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