Nobody would argue that Torrance’s tasks, which have become the gold standard in creativity assessment, measure creativity perfectly. What’s shocking is how incredibly well Torrance’s creativity index predicted those kids’ creative accomplishments as adults. Those who came up with more good ideas on Torrance’s tasks grew up to be entrepreneurs, inventors, college presidents, authors, doctors, diplomats, and software developers. The correlation to lifetime creative accomplishment was more than three times stronger for childhood creativity than childhood IQ.
Like intelligence tests, Torrance’s test–a 90-minute series of discrete tasks, administered by a psychologist–has been taken by millions worldwide in 50 languages. Yet there is one crucial difference between IQ and CQ scores. With intelligence, there is a phenomenon called the Flynn effect–each generation, scores go up about 10 points. Enriched environments are making kids smarter. With creativity, a reverse trend has just been identified and is being reported for the first time here: American creativity scores are falling.
From Newsweek. I am not at all convinced that creativity is on the decline. The study cited seems to be unpublished and there isn't much on the author's website which is a little, well, too creative for my tastes. Nevertheless, the Torrance test and its correlation with lifetime creative is interesting and a good reminder of what IQ tests do not reveal. I also liked this bit:
When faculty of a major Chinese university asked Plucker to identify trends in American education, he described our focus on standardized curriculum, rote memorization, and nationalized testing. “After my answer was translated, they just started laughing out loud,” Plucker says. “They said, ‘You’re racing toward our old model. But we’re racing toward your model, as fast as we can.’ “