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Creativity Scale

The overall purpose of this measure is to create an alternative method of
identifying creative individuals in the workplace.

  • The evolving business landscape has left organizations searching for ways to sustain a competitive advantage (Snow & Snell, 1993). One such method may be through the enhancement of creative performance in the workplace (Amabile, 1998).

  • Several researchers (e.g. Amabile 1996; George & Zhou, 2001; Oldham & Cummings, 1996) have suggested that creative performance is maximized under (a) appropriate contextual conditions such as supportive supervision and opportunity to perform complex tasks, as well as (b) when employee creative ability is high.

Thus, the identification of employees with creative ability becomes one essential element of increasing innovation in the workplace.

Current Creativity Measures

Current creativity measures have shown promising results in predicting creative performance. However, they are lacking in one or more ways; they:

  • Require too much time to administer and score
  • Are subjectively scored
  • Are not standardized to allow for the development of norms
  • Are not organizationally based

Therefore, the purpose of the current project was to explore an alternative method of identifying creative individuals.



  • 376 participants (total) were used in the study. The large majority of participants were students from differing classes in the psychology department in a medium-sized, Southern university.

   Scale Development

  • Scale development consisted of four main phases:

      1. Item stem and response generation
          40 open-ended stems were written.
          60 participants provided written responses to the item stems.

      2. Identification of creative and non-creative individuals
          Using the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking and Openness to Experience, creative
          and non-creative individuals were selected.

      3. Rating Responses
          Creative and non-creative individuals rated the responses according to how similar
          were to items they would have generated themselves.

      4. Selecting Items
          Items that differentiated creative and non-creative individuals were selected for the
          final version of the measure. Each selected item-stem contained two responses:
          a creative response and a non-creative response, or a forced-choice item.


  • The findings of the study are encouraging in that the new scale reveals some discriminant and convergent validity with known creativity measures and other personality traits. Moreover, the brevity of the new scale, as well as the ease of scoring, make further investigation of this, and other similar scales, worth the research effort.

  • These preliminary results also suggest that a forced-choice measure of creativity may be possible, and worth further exploration.

  • Finally, the results of the study suggest that similar scaling techniques such as the sue of bio-data could provide additional methods of identifying creative individuals in the workplace.

  • Limitations: A lack of creativity criterion makes it unclear as to whether the new scale will add to the prediction of creative performance in the workplace. Further, the low internal consistency and poor factor structure make the use of the new scale at this stage somewhat suspect. Finally, the methodology used to develop the new scale deviated from standard scale development procedures, and is therefore noted as a limitation.

  • Future Research: Further data collection using comprehensive creativity criteria will shed light onto the true utility of the new scale. Moreover, the investigation of the relationship between creative ability/performance and demographic data are important areas for future research. Finally, the new scale has been converted into a computerized format, and the exploration of such testing techniques will serve as an important area for future research.