Assessing Creativity: The Test for Creative Thinking - Drawing Production (TCT-DP) the Concept, Application, Evaluation, and International Studies

Article excerpt

Abstract

The Test for Creative Thinking - Drawing Production (TCT-DP), its design, concept and evaluation scheme as well as experiences and results of application are described. The test was designed to mirror a more holistic concept of creativity than the mere quantitatively oriented, traditional divergent thinking tests. The specific design using figural fragments is explained. The drawing production is evaluated by means of a set of criteria which at the same time represent the underlying test construct. The test has been normed with various age and ability groups; there were no significant differences between male and female examinees. Various studies with data concerning the reliability and validity of the TCT-DP are provided.

Key words: Identification, Giftedness, Creativity, Test for Creative Thinking - Drawing Production (TCT-DP)

Most traditional creativity tests give mere quantitative information about a very restricted aspect of creativity only. This was specially true for the two creativity tests which were published and available in Germany in the eighties, when first deliberations on the construction of a new instrument started. Both instruments, the "Test zum divergenten Denken [Test for Divergent Thinking]" (TDK4-6; Mainberger, 1977) and the "Verbaler Kreativitätstest [Verbal Creativity Test]" (VKT; Schoppe, 1975), were very much restricted as to their range of applicability. The TDK was standardised only for three grades (4-6), the VKT may be used only with adolescents and adults from age 15 on with good school education, since the test only uses verbal material on a fairly high level. Both instruments are relatively extensive in application and evaluation (time). The TDK lacks a theoretical basis; it consists of not-founded or -commented collection of various creativity tasks from the American tradition, by researchers like Guilford, Torrance, or Wallach and Kogan. The VKT-result is very much dependent on general verbal and intellectual abilities. Furthermore, both tests are speed-tests and thus are close to intelligence tests as far as application is concerned. Both instruments refer solely to divergent thinking and they are restricted only to the aspect of productivity, which, in this case is the quantity of mainly verbally determined ideas.

These limitations in concept and scope of applicability were one reason for Urban and Jellen (1985; 1986; Jellen & Urban, 1986) to develop their new instrument, the "Test zum schopferischen Denken - Zeichnerisch (TSD-Z)" (Urban & Jellen, 1995(2)), or, in English, "Test for Creative Thinking - Drawing Production (TCT-DP)" (Urban & Jellen, 19963). This assessment device may be seen as an attempt to apply a more holistic and gestalt-oriented approach to diagnostics of creativity. The German term "schopferisch" was chosen consciously in order to stress the shaping, the production, and the final "gestalt" as the creative end product. We wanted to consider not only divergent, or, still more limited, quantitative aspects, but aspects of quality, like content, "gestalt", composition, and elaboration, too, and other components stressed in the literature, like (mental) risk taking and breaking of boundaries, unconventionality, affection, and humour.

Design and construction

In designing and constructing the new assessment instrument some premises should be noted:

* The test should be applicable to persons of a broad age range.

* It should work as a useful screening instrument in order to help to identify high creative potentials as well as low creative or rather neglected, poorly developed ones.

* The instrument should be simple and economic in application, in conducting, scoring, and interpretation, economic in time and material.

* The test should be highly culture-fair.

Because of a broad applicability, even to young children, and of an optimal culture-fairness we decided to operationalize our concept by means of a drawing production. …

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