Approaches to Creativity
In a surprisingly faithful way, the history of behavioral scientists' attempts to study human creativity parallels the history of their attempts to investigate human intelligence. Like intelligence, the term creativity has been applied over the years as an honorific label to a wide range of individuals, situations, and products. Such lay use of the terms creative, creativity, or creating, may have sufficed on the streets; but as happened with the term intelligence, the variant forms of creativity have seemed in need of more precise formulation.
Thanks to the revolution in psychological measurement (or psychometrics), associated particularly with the work of Alfred Binet in Paris and Lewis Terman in California, the concept of "intelligence" and its putative measure "IQ" were operationalized early in the twentieth century--as it happens, at the birth of the modern era, as I have defined it. Every individual was thought to possess a certain amount of intelligence, possibly as his or her birthright, possibly as a result of nurture; the kinds of brief verbal and numerical items that populate IQ tests were thought sufficient to indicate an individual's intelligence. Many intelligence tests were devised, but they tended to incorporate the same kinds of items and to correlate highly with one another; if one is psychometrically "bright" on a Stanford-Binet measure of intelligence, one is likely to stand out equivalently on the measures devised by David Wechsler and by other leaders of the intelligence intelligentsia.
It was not surprising--and was perhaps overdue--when, at midcen-