When I say the word "chair," what verb do you think of? Your answer could reveal how creative you are.
Michigan State University neuroscientist Jeremy Gray
has developed a simple word test to measure creativity. It's described in the journal Behavior Research Methods
His team showed 193 participants a series of nouns and asked them to respond creatively to each with a verb. "Chair" - for example - could elicit "sit"... or more creatively, "stand." The participants were also asked to write stories and draw pictures. Those who gave creative answers on the noun-verb test were also judged the most creative in the more traditional areas.
Gray and his team are now giving the noun-verb test to participants while they are in an MRI machine to try to identify the parts of the brain that light up when creativity is called for. Their findings could eventually help students, entrepreneurs, scientists and anyone who depends on innovative thinking.