Psychometric Issues in the Assessment of Creativity

  • William B. Michael
  • Claudia R. Wright
Part of the Perspectives on Individual Differences book series (PIDF)


In this first section, an overview of the remaining seven divisions of the chapter is presented. The second section affords a brief description of categories of instrumentation to provide the reader with a foundation within which the psychometric issues in the assessment of creativity can be viewed. In the third section, psychometric concerns pertaining to construct validity, content validity, and criterion-related validity are addressed. Subsequent to an abbreviated review of the meaning of reliability, concerns regarding optimal approaches to the estimation of reliability of creativity measures are considered in the fourth section. The impact upon reliability and validity of scoring procedures is examined in the fifth section with particular emphasis on the presence of fluency as a confounding factor in the interpretation of scores of measures of divergent thinking. The sixth section provides a survey of a number of the difficulties encountered in establishing normative data for the understanding of scores on measures of creativity. A cursory exploration of a few selected issues in the administration of tests of creativity follows in the seventh section, and the eighth section contributes a concluding statement.


Discriminant Validity Convergent Validity Creative Thinking Criterion Measure Divergent Thinking 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. American Psychological Association. (1974). Standards for educational and psychological tests and manuals. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychological Association. (1985). Standards for educational and psychological testing. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  3. Anastasi, A. (1982). Psychological testing ( 5th ed. ). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  4. Bentler, P. M. (1980). Multivariate analysis with latent variables: Causal modeling. Annual Review of Psychology, 31, 419–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berger, R. M., & Guilford, J. P. (1969). Plot titles. Beverly Hills, CA: Sheridan Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  6. Bloom, B. S., Hastings, J. T., & Madaus, G. F. (1971). Handbook on formative and summative evaluation of student learning. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  7. Campbell, D. T., & Fiske, D. W. (1959). Convergent and discriminant validation by the multitrait-multimethod matrix. Psychological Bulletin, 56, 81–105.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Campbell, J. P. (1976). Psychometric theory. In M. D. Dunnette (Ed.), Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology, (pp. 185–222 ). Chicago: Rand McNally.Google Scholar
  9. Christensen, P. R., Merrifield, P. R., & Guilford, J. P. (1958). Consequences. Beverly Hills, CA: Sheridan Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  10. Christensen, P. R., Guilford, J. P., Merrifield, P. R., & Wilson, R. C. (1960). Alternative uses. Beverly Hills, CA: Sheridan Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  11. Cattell, R. B., & Butcher, H. T. (1968). The prediction of achievement and creativity. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill.Google Scholar
  12. Clark, P., & Mirels, H. (1970). Fluency as a pervasive element in the measurement of creativity. Journal of Educational Measurement, 7, 83–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Crocker, L., & Algina, J. (1985). Introduction to classical and modern test theory. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.Google Scholar
  14. Cronbach, L. J. (1951). Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests. Psychometrika, 16, 297–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cronbach, L. J. (1971). Test validation. In R. L. Thomdike (Ed.), Educational measurement ( 2nd ed. ), (pp. 443–507 ). Washington, DC: American Council on Education.Google Scholar
  16. Cronbach, L. J. (1980). Validity on parole: How can we go straight? In W. B. Schrader (Ed.), Measuring achievement: Progress over the decade, (pp. 99–108 ). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  17. Cronbach, L. J., & Meehl, P. E. (1955). Construct validity. Psychological Bulletin, 52, 281–302.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dellas, M., & Gaier, E. L. (1970). Identification of creativity: The individual. Psychological Bulletin, 73, 55–73.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ebel, R. L. (1951). Estimation of the reliability of ratings. Psychometrika, 16, 407–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ebel, R. L. (1979). Essentials of educational measurement ( 3rd ed. ). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  21. Fiske, D. W. (1987). Construct invalidity comes from method effects. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 47 (2), 285–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Getzels, J. W., & Jackson, P. W. (1962). Creativity and intelligence. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  23. Golann, S. E. (1963). Psychological study of creativity. Psychological Bulletin, 60, 548–565.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gorsuch, R. L. (1983). Factor analysis ( 2nd ed. ). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  25. Gronlund, N. (1976). Measurement and evaluation in teaching ( 3rd ed. ). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  26. Guilford, J. P. (1954). Psychometric methods ( 2nd ed. ). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  27. Guilford, J. P. (1963). Intellectual resources and their values as seen by scientists. In C. W. Taylor & F. Barron (Eds.), Scientific creativity: Its recognition and development, (pp. 101–118 ). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  28. Guilford, J. P. (1967). The nature of human intelligence. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  29. Guilford, J. P. (1968). Intelligence, creativity, and their educational implications. San Diego, CA: Robert R. Knapp.Google Scholar
  30. Guilford, J. P. (1970). Creativity: Retrospect and prospect. Journal of Creative Behavior, 4, 149–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Guilford, J. P. (1971). Some misconceptions regarding measurement of creative talents. Journal of Creative Behavior, 5, 77–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Guilford, J. P., & Fruchter, B. (1978). Fundamental statistics in psychology and education ( 6th ed. ). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  33. Guilford, J. P., & Hoepfner, R. (1971). The analysis of intelligence. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  34. Guilford, J. P., & Tenopyr, M. L. (1968). Implications of the structure-of-intellect model for high school and college students. In W. B. Michael (Ed.), Teaching for creative endeavor, (pp. 25–45 ). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Gulliksen, H. (1950). Theory of mental tests. New York: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Harman, H. H. (1976). Modern factor analysis ( 3rd ed. ). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  37. Harris, M. L., & Harris, C. W. (1971). A factor analytic interpretation strategy. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 31, 589–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hocevar, D. (1979). Ideational fluency as a confounding factor in the measurement of originality. Journal of Educational Psychology, 71, 191–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hocevar, D. (1981). Measurement of creativity: Review and critique. Journal of Personality Assessment, 45, 450–464.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hocevar, D., & Michael, W. B. (1979). The effects of scoring formulas on the discriminant validity of tests of divergent thinking. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 39, 917–921.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Horn, J. L., & Knapp, J. R. (1973). On the subjective character of the empirical base of Guilford’s structure-of-intellect model. Psychological Bulletin, 80, 33–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Horn, J. L., & Knapp, J. R. (1974). Thirty wrongs do not make a right: Reply to Guilford. Psychological Bulletin, 81, 502–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Houghton Mifflin. (1931–1974). The Henmon-Nelson Tests of Mental Ability. Boston: Author.Google Scholar
  44. Hoyt, C. J. (1941). Test reliability estimated by analysis of variance. Psychometrika, 6, 153–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Hudspith, S. (1985). The neurological correlates of creative thought: A comparison of the EEG activity of high and low creative subjects with an ergonomic presentation of the results for the lay person. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.Google Scholar
  46. Jöreskog, K. G. (1969). A general approach to confirmatory maximum likelihood factor analysis. Psychometrika, 34, 183–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Jöreskog, K. G., & Sörbom, D. (1981). LISREL V: Analysis of linear structural relationships by method of maximum likelihood. Chicago: National Educational Resources. (Distribution by International Educational Services).Google Scholar
  48. Kazelskis, R. (1972). The convergent, divergent, and factorial validity of the Torrance Figural Test of Creativity. Southern Journal of Educational Research, 6, 123–129.Google Scholar
  49. Khattab, A-M., & Michael, W. B. (1986). The construct validity of higher order structure-of-intellect factors reflecting semantic and symbolic content abilities. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 46, 1029–1035.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Khattab, A-M., and Michael, W. B., & Hocevar, D. (1982). The construct validity of higher order structure-of-intellect abilities in a battery of tests emphasizing the product of transformations: A confirmatory maximum likelihood factor analysis. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 42, 1089–1105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Kuder, G. F., & Richardson, M. W. (1937). The theory of the estimation of test reliability. Psychometrika, 2, 151–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Mace, D. E., Michael, W. B., & Hocevar, D. (1985). Validity of higher-order ability constructs in structure-of-intellect tests all involving semantic content and operations of cognition or evaluation: A confirmatory maximum likelihood factor analysis. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 45, 353–359.Google Scholar
  53. MacKinnon, D. W. (1962). The nature and nurture of creative talent. American Psychologist, 17, 484–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. MacKinnon, D. W. (1965). Personality and the realization of creative potential. American Psychologist, 20, 227–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Marsh, H. W., & Hocevar, D. (1983). Confirmatory factor analysis of multitrait-multimethod matrices. Journal of Educational Measurement, 20, 231–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Mednick, S. A., & Mednick, M. T. (1962). The associative basis of the creative process. Psychological Review, 69, 220–227.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Mednick, S. A., & Mednick, M. T. (1967). The Remote Associates Test (RAT). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  58. Meeker, M., & Meeker, R. (1975). Structure oflntellectLearning Abilities Test (SOILAT). El Segundo, CA: SOI Institute.Google Scholar
  59. Mehrens, W. A., & Lehmann, I. J. (1984). Measurement and evaluation in education and psychology ( 3rd ed. ). New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.Google Scholar
  60. Messick, S. (1975). The standard problem: Meaning and values in measurement and evaluation. American Psychologist, 30, 955–966.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Michael, W. B. (1977). Cognitive and affective components of creativity in mathematics and the physical sciences. In J. C. Stanley, W. C. George, & C. H. Solano (Eds.), The gifted and the creative, (pp. 141–172 ). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  62. Nunnally, J. C. (1978). Psychometric theory ( 2nd ed. ). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  63. Parues, S. J. (1964). Research on developing creative behavior. In C. W. Taylor (Ed.), Widening horizons in creativity, (pp. 145–169 ). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  64. Plass, H., Michael, J. J., & Michael, W. B. (1974). The factonal validity of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking for a sample of 111 sixth-grade children. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 34, 413–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Roe, A. (1951). A psychological study of physical scientists. Genetic Psychology Monographs, 43 (2), 121–235.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. Sax, G. (1980). Principles of educational and psychological measurement and evaluation, ( 2nd ed. ). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.Google Scholar
  67. Tenopyr, M. L. (1977). Content-construct confusion. Personnel Psychology, 30, 47–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Thomdike, R. L. (1963). Some methodological issues in the study of creativity. In E. F. Gardner (Ed.), Proceedings of the 1962 Invitational Conference on Testing Problems, (pp. 4054 ). Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.Google Scholar
  69. Thomdike, R. L. (1982). Applied psychometrics. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  70. Thomdike, R. L., & Hagen, E. P. (1977). Measurement and evaluation in psychology and education ( 4th ed. ). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  71. Torrance, E. P. (1959). Explorations in creative thinking in the early school years: VI. Highly intelligent and highly creative children in a laboratory school. Research Mem. BER-59–7. Minneapolis: Bureau of Educational Research, University of Minnesota.Google Scholar
  72. Torrance, E. P. (1966). Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking: Norms-technical manual. Princeton, NJ: Personnel Press.Google Scholar
  73. Torrance, E. P. (1974). Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking: Norms-technical manual. Lexington, MA: Ginn.Google Scholar
  74. Treffinger, D. J., & Poggio, J. P. (1972). Needed research on the measurement of creativity. Journal of Creative Behavior, 6, 253–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Treffinger, D. J., Renzulli, J. S., & Feldhusen, J. F. (1971). Problems in the assessment of creative thinking. Journal of Creative Behavior, 5, 104–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Wolf, R. M. (1982). Validity of tests. In H. E. Mitzel, J. H. Best, & W. Rabinowitz (Eds.), Encyclopedia of educational research, (5th ed., Vol. 4, pp. 1991–1998 ). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  77. Yamamoto, K. (1965). Effects of restriction of range and test unreliability on correlation between measures of intelligence and creative thinking. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 35, 300–305.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Yamamoto, K., & Frengel, B. (1966). An exploratory component analysis of the Minnesota Tests of Creative Thinking. California Journal of Educational Research, 17, 220–229.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • William B. Michael
    • 1
  • Claudia R. Wright
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Educational Psychology and AdministrationCalifornia State UniversityLong BeachUSA

Personalised recommendations