How many uses can you think of for a paperclip in three minutes?
If you’re average, you’ll probably be able to drum up 10 or perhaps 20 different uses. I came up with 11. The somewhat famous paperclip test was created in 1967 by J.P. Guilford as a measure of divergent thinking. It’s part of a group of assessments known as ‘alternative use tests’ which measure creativity.
The above example shows a common incomplete figure exercise. This test asks users to complete the picture in each window. This is another test of divergent thinking, the more creative you are the more interesting the results tend to be (see below).
If you didn’t come up with this given the start above, read on.
Creativity is often viewed as something you either have or you don’t. But that’s not entirely true, according to a study completed by Harvard, creativity is 85% a learned skill. That means we can improve. The question is how?