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Measuring Artistic Creativity and Flexibility

Klein, Stephen P.; Skager, Rodney W.; Erlebacher, Walter
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Adjustment (To Environment), Art, Freehand Drawing, Personality Traits, Talent


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between flexibility and artistic ability. To achieve this end, students (N = 92) at a school of design were asked to draw the same thing twice, once using one mode of organization and again using an opposite mode. The rated dissimilarity between each S's drawings provided a behavioral measure of flexibility. The Ss also took three tests that supposedly measured various facets of flexibility. Indices of artistic ability included grades in fine arts courses and the rated quality of the Ss' drawings in both modes and on a drawing problem assigned earlier in the semester. The results indicated that only the behavioral measure of flexibility was positively related to indices of artistic ability. The implications of these findings are discussed.

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