(The following is an homage to the Torrence Test of Creative Thinking, originally written in celebration of Thanksgiving. The graphic below is my own, and is not a representation of the figural test Torrence developed. If you are interested in Torrence’s work, also see the post Newsweek and the Torrence Test of Creative Thinking.)
I’ve been thinking about creative thinking. And then, given the season, this led me to thinking about creative thanking.
This then led me to an idea: the “Timely Test of Creative Thanking,” a riff on the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking. The TTCT is a well known measure of creativity. It measures not your creative style (how are you creative), but your level of creativity (how creative are you).
One of the versions is a Figural Test, were you are asked to create images from a few lines, arranged in rows of squares.
I think perhaps it’s as important to increase our level of creative thanking as it is to work on our level of creative thinking. So, in the spirit of Creative Thanking, I offer you my adaptation of the TTCT, below.
The Torrance test is timed. With this one, I invite you to take your time. Stretch your creativity to explore new ways in which to be thankful, and let your mind come up with as many ideas as possible, as you complete the drawings below. You can write a title to each image as well, and explain why it represents things for which you are thankful.
In a further homage to Torrance, here are the criteria which the TTCT measures, and some suggestions for applying them to the art of being creatively thankful.
Fluency: in the TTCT, it is the total number of relevant responses. How about coming up with tons of answers to the question of what are we thankful for?
Originality: This refers to “statistical infrequency,” the likelihood that you will come up with something new. Can you think of things to be thankful for that others overlook?
Elaboration: This indicates using imagination and detail. How can you make the object of your gratitude really come to life, in all its glorious detail? Can you elaborate upon your thanksgiving?
Abstractness of Titles: in the TTCT, this refers to using abstract concepts, humor, irony, etc. to label the individual drawings. What label are you putting on the things for which you are grateful? Might they really be called other, perhaps greater, names?
Resistance to Premature Closure: This is about staying open and resisting coming to conclusions too quickly. Are there things in your life for which you know you are grateful, but perhaps you’re not as open to their complete nature as you could be? Have you already decided you know the answer to what you are thankful for, but there might be more to discover?
So, go at it. Fill in the squares, have fun. Let me know what you learn. When I drew the figures, I had certain images in my mind. I’d love to see what this sparks in your imagination, and how it might introduce some creative thanking. Here is a link to the drawing and instructions, as a pdf. Timely Test of Creative Thanking. If you’d like to send me what you come up with, I’d be delighted. (contact info in the pdf)