Divergent thinking and its dimensions: What we talk about and what we evaluate?

  • Carmen Ferrándiz García Universidad de Murcia
  • Mercedes Ferrando Universidad de Murcia
  • Gloria Soto Universidad de Murcia
  • Marta Sainz Universidad de Murcia
  • María Dolores Prieto Universidad de Murcia
Keywords: Creativity, Divergent thinking, Assessment of creativity, Test of creativity.


This paper examines the role of latent cognitive process and the contents of task (verbal and figural) in divergent thinking. The sample was composed of 260 students, attending different public and semi-public schools in the Murcia Region (Spain), with ages ranging from 8 to 15 years old. Creativity was assessed with the Torrance Test of Creativity Thinking (TTCT) and the Test of Creative Imagination (PIC). Results suggest that, even though both tests are based on the psychometric approach and Guilford´s theory of creativity, their scores are not significantly correlated. Results from confirmatory factor analysis suggest two independent factors (one for each test), more related to tasks’ demands and contents than with the cognitive processes traditionally considered in the definition and measurement of creativity.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Carmen Ferrándiz García, Universidad de Murcia
Profesora Titular Universidad. Departamento Psicología Evolutiva y de la Educación (Universidad de Murcia)
Mercedes Ferrando, Universidad de Murcia
Profesora Contratada Doctor. Departamento Psicología Evolutiva y de la Educación. Universidad de Murcia
Gloria Soto, Universidad de Murcia
Profesora Asociada. Departamento de Métodos de Investigación y Diagnóstico en Educación. Universidad de Murcia
Marta Sainz, Universidad de Murcia
Profesora Asociada. Departamento de Psicología Evolutiva y de la Educación. Universidad de Murcia
María Dolores Prieto, Universidad de Murcia
Catedrática de Universidad. Departamento de Psicología Evolutiva y de la Educación. Universidad de Murcia


Almeida, L. S., Prieto, M. D., Ferrando, M., Oliveira, E., & Ferrándiz, C., (2008). Creativity: The question of its construct validity. Journal of Thinking Skills and Creativity. 3(1), 53-58.

Amabile, T. M. (1998). How to kill creativity. Harvard Business Review, 76(5), 77-87.

Arbuckle, J. L. (2012). IBM SPSS Amos 21 User's Guide. IBM

Artola, T., & Barraca. J. (2004). Creatividad e Imaginación. Un nuevo instrumento de medida: La PIC. EduPsykhé, 3(1), 73-93.

Artola, T., Ancillo, I, Mosteiro, P., & Barraca, J. (2004). PIC: Prueba de Imaginación Creativa. Madrid: TEA, Ediciones.

Artola, T., Barraca, J., Martín, C., Mosteiro, P., Ancillo, I. y Poveda, B. (2008). Prueba de Imaginación Creativa para Jóvenes. Madrid: TEA.

Baer, J. (1999). Domains of Creativity. En Mark A, Runco & Steven R, Pritzkermark (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Creativity, pp 591-596. New York: Academic Press.

Baer, J. (1996). The effects of task-specific divergent-thinking training. Journal of Creative Behavior, 30, 183–187.

Brown, T. A. (2006). Confirmatory factor analysis for applied research. Nueva York: The Guilford Press.

Beauducel, A., Brocke, B., & Liepmann, D. (2001). Perspectives on fluid and crystallized intelligence: Facets for verbal, numerical, and figural intelligence. Personality and Individual Differences, 30, 977-994, < doi: 10.1016/S0191-8869(00)00087-8>

Clapham, M. M. (1998). Structure of figural forms A and B of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 58(2). 275-283.

Clark, P. M., & Mirels, H. L. (1970). Fluency as a pervasive element in the measurement of creativity. Journal of Educational Measurement, 7, 83-86

Craft, A. (2005). Creativity in schools: Tensions and dilemmas. Abingdon: Routledge.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1997). Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. Harper Perennial: New York.

Chase, C. I. (1985). Review of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking. En J.V. Mitchell Jr. (Ed.), The ninth mental measurements yearbook (pp. 1631-1632). Lincoln: Buros Institute of Mental Measurement. University of Nebraska.

Diakidoy, I. A. N., & Spanoudis, G. (2002). Domain Specificity in Creativity Testing: A Comparison of Performance on a General Divergent‐Thinking Test and a Parallel, Content‐Specific Test. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 36(1), 41-61.

Dixon, J. (1979). Quality versus quantity: The need to control for the fluency factor in originality scores from the Torrance Tests. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 2, 70–79.

Ferrándiz, C., Prieto, M. D., Ballester, P., & Bermejo, M. R. (2004). Validez y fiabilidad de los instrumentos de evaluación de las inteligencias múltiples en los primeros niveles instruccionales. Psicothema, 16(1), 7-13.

Ferrando, M., Ferrándiz, C; Bermejo, M. R., Sánchez, C. Parra, J., & Prieto, M. D. (2007). Estructura interna y baremación del Test de Pensamiento Creativo de Torrance. Psicothema, 3(19), 489-496.

Garaigordobil Landazabal, M., & Pérez Fernández, J. I. (2004). Un estudio de las relaciones entre distintos ámbitos creativos. Educación y Ciencia, 8(15) 67 – 78.

Gardner, H. (1993/1995). Creating minds: An anatomy of creativity seen through the lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham, and Gandhi. New York: Basic Books. (Traducción española, 1995. Mentes creativas. Barcelona: Paidós).

Guilford, J. P. (1950). Creativity. American Psychologist, 5, 444-454.

Han, K. S., & Marvin, C. (2002). Multiple creativities? Investigating domain-specificity of creativity in young children. Gifted Child Quarterly, 46(2), 98-109.

Heausler, N. L., & Thompson, B. (1988). Structure of the Torrance Tests of creative thinking. Educational and Psychological Meassurement, 48, 463–468.

Hennessey, B. A., & Amabile, T. M. (2010). Creativity. Annual Review of Psychology, 61, 569–598,

Hocevar, D. (1979). Ideational fluency as a confounding factor in the measurement of originality. Journal of Educational Psychology, 71, 191-196.

Hocevar, D., & Michael, W. B. (1979). The effects of scoring formulas on the discriminate validity of tests of divergent thinking. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 39, 917-921.

Hong, E., & Milgram, R. M. (1991). Original thinking in preschool children: A validation of ideational fluency measures. Creativity Research Journal, 4(3), 253-260.

Jackson, D. L., Gillaspy Jr, J. A., & Purc-Stephenson, R. (2009). Reporting practices in confirmatory factor analysis: an overview and some recommendations. Psychological methods, 14(1), 6.

Kaufman, J. C., & Baer, J. (2004). Sure, I’m creative but not in Mathematics: Self-reported creativity in diverse domains. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 22(2), 143-155.

Kaufman, J. C., & Baer, J. (2005). The amusement park theory of creativity. Creativity across domains: Faces of the muse, 321-328.

Kim, K. H. (2006). Is creativity unidimensional or multidimensional? Analyses of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking. Creativity Research Journal, 18, 251-259.

Kim, K. H., Cramond. B., & Bandalos, D. (2006). The latent structure and measurement invariance of scores on the TTCT of Creative Thinking-Figural. Educational and Measurement, 66, 459-477.

Lemos, G. C., Abad, F. J., Almeida, L. S., & Colom, R. (2013). Sex differences on g and non-g intellectual performance reveal potential sources of STEM discrepancies. Intelligence, 41, 11-18.

Mcmann, G.M., & Barnett, D.W. (1994). Structural analysis of correlated factors: Lessons from the verbal-performance dichotomy of the Wechsler scales. School Psychology Quarterly, 9, 161-197.

Michael, W. B., & Wright, C. R. (1989). Psychometric issues in the assessment of creativity. In J. A. Glover, R. R. Ronning, & C. R. Reynolds (Eds.), Handbook of creativity (pp. 33–52). New York: Plenum Press.

Mohamed, A., Maker, C., & Lubart, T. (2012). Exploring the Domain Specificity of Creativity in Children: The Relationship between a Non-Verbal Creative Production Test and Creative Problem-Solving Activities. Online Submission, 2(2), 84-101.

Moran, J. D., Milgran , R. M., Sawyers, J., & Fu, V. R. (1983). Original thinking in preschool children. Child Development, 54 (4), 921-926.

Mouchiroud, C., & Lubart, T. (2001). Children’s original thinking: An empirical examination of alternative measures derived from divergent thinking task. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 162, 383-401.

Nakano, T. C., & Primi, R. (2012). A estrutura fatorial do Teste de Criatividade Figural Infantil. Psicologia: Teoria e Pesquisa, 28(3), 275-283.

Oliveira, E.P., Almeida, L., Ferrándiz, C., Ferrando, M., Sáinz, M., & Prieto, M. D. (2009). Tests de Pensamiento Creativo de Torrance (TTCT): Elementos para la validez del constructo en adolescentes portugueses. Psicothema, 21, 562–567.

Plucker, J. A., & Beghetto, R. A. (2004). Why Creativity Is Domain General, Why It Looks Domain Specific, and Why the Distinction Does Not Matter. In R. J. Sternberg, E. L. Grigorenko, & J. L. Singer (Eds.), Who’s creative? (pp. 153-157). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association

Prieto, M. D., López, O., Ferrándiz, C., & Bermejo, R. (2003). Adaptación de la prueba figurativa del Test de Pensamiento Creativo de Torrance en una muestra de alumnos de los primeros niveles educativos. Revista de Investigación Psicoeducativa, 21, 201-213.

Prieto, M. D., López, O., Bermejo, R., Renzulli, J., & Castejón, J. L. (2002). Evaluación de un programa de desarrollo de la creatividad. Psicothema. 14(2), 410-414.

Prieto, M. D., Parra, J., Ferrando, M., Ferrándiz, C., Bermejo, M. R., & Sánchez, C. (2006). Creative abilities in early childhood. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 4(3), 277-290.

Primi, R., Nakano, T. D. C., Morais, M. D. F., Almeida, L. S., & David, A. P. M. (2013). Factorial structure analysis of the Torrance Test with Portuguese students. Estudos de Psicologia (Campinas), 30(1), 19-28.

Runco, M. A., & Acar, S. (2012). Divergent thinking as an indicator of creative potential. Creativity Research Journal, 24, 66-75.

Runco, M. A., & Mraz, W. (1992). Scoring divergent thinking tests using total ideational output and a creativity index. Educational and Psychological measurement, 52, 213-221. DOI: 10.1177/001316449205200126

Runco, M. A., Dow, G., & Smith, W. (2006). Information, experience, and divergent thinking: An empirical test. Creativity Research Journal, 18, 269 –277.

Runco, M. A., Okuda, S. M., & Thurston, B. J. (1987). The psychometric properties of four systems for scoring divergent thinking tests. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment , 5, 149-156. DOI: 10.1177/073428298700500206.

Runco, M. A., Okuda, S. M., & Thurston, B. J. (1991). Environmental cues and divergent thinking. In M. A. Runco (Ed.), Divergent thinking (pp. 79-85). Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation.

Sainz, M. (2010). Creatividad, Personalidad y Competencia Socio–emocional en Alumnos de Altas Habilidades versus no Altas Habilidades. Tesis Doctoral. Universidad de Murcia.

Sánchez, P. A.. García, A., & Valdés, A. A. (2009). Validez y confiabilidad de un instrumento para medir la creatividad en adolescentes. Revista Iberoamericana de Educación, 50(6), 1-12.

Schreiber, J. B., Nora, A., Stage, F. K., Barlow, E. A., & King, J. (2006). Reporting structural equation modelling and confirmatory factor analysis results: A review. The Journal of Educational Research, 99(6), 323-338.

Silvia, P. J., Kaufman, J. C., & Pretz, J. E. (2009). Is creativity domain-specific? Latent class models of creative accomplishments and creative self-descriptions. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 3(3), 139.

Silvia, P. J., Winterstein, B. P., Willse, J. T., Barona, C. M., Cram, J. T., Hess, K. L., Martinez, .L. & Richard, C. A. (2008). Assessing creativity with divergent thinking tasks: Exploring the reliability and validity of new subjective scoring methods. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, 2, 68-85.

Silvia, P.J., Martin, C., & Nusbaun, E. C. (2009). A snapshot of creativity: Evaluating a quick and simple method for assessing divergent thinking. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 4, 2, 79-85.

Silvia, P. J., Winterstein, B. P., Willse, J. T., Barona, C. M., Cram, J. T., Hess, K. L., Martinez, L., & Richard, C. A. (2008). Assessing creativity with divergent thinking tasks: Exploring the reliability and validity of new subjective scoring methods. Psychology of Aesthetics. Creativity and the Arts, 2, 68-85.

Snyder, A., Mitchell, J., Bossomaier, T., & Pallier, G. (2004). The creativity quotient: an objective scoring of ideational fluency. Creativity Research Journal, 16(4), 415-419.

Sternberg, RJ, & Lubart, T. I. (1995). Defying the crow: Cultivating creativity in a culture of conformity. New York: The Free Press.

Torrance, E. P. (1974). The Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking - Norms-Technical Manual Research Edition - Verbal Tests, Forms A and B - Figural Tests, Forms A and B. Princeton NJ: Personnel Press.

Treffinger, D. J. (1985). Review of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking. In J. V. Mitchell Jr. (Ed.), The ninth mental measure- ments yearbook (pp. 1632–1634). Lincoln: University of Nebraska, Buros Institute of Mental Measurements.

Wallach, M. & Kogan, N. (1965). Models of thinking in young chidren. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Wechsler, S. M. (2004). Avaliação da criatividade por figuras e palabras. Teste de Torrance – Versão Brasileira. Campinas, SP: PUCCamp, LAMP.

Zacatelco, F., Chávez, B. I., González, A., & Acle, G. (2013). Validez de una prueba de creatividad: Estudio en una muestra de estudiantes mexicanos de educación primaria. Revista Intercontinental de Psicología y Educación, 15(1), 141-155.

Zarnegar, Z., Hocevas, D., & Michael, W. B. (1988) Components of original thinking in gifted children. Educational and psychological measurement, 48, (1), 5-1.

How to Cite
Ferrándiz García, C., Ferrando, M., Soto, G., Sainz, M., & Prieto, M. D. (2016). Divergent thinking and its dimensions: What we talk about and what we evaluate?. Anales De Psicología / Annals of Psychology, 33(1), 40-47. https://doi.org/10.6018/analesps.32.3.224371
Developmental and Educational Psychology