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Ellis Paul Torrance (October 8, 1915 – July 12, 2003) was an American psychologist from Milledgeville, Georgia. After completing his undergraduate degree at Mercer University, Torrance acquired a Master's degree at the University of Minnesota and then a doctorate from the University of Michigan. His teaching career spanned from 1957 to 1984. First, he taught at the University of Minnesota and then later at the University of Georgia, where he became professor of Educational Psychology in 1966.
Torrance is best known for his research in creativity. His major accomplishments include 1,871 publications:88 books; 256 parts of books or cooperative volumes; 408 journal articles; 538 reports, manuals, tests, etc.; 162 articles in popular journals or magazines; 355 conference papers; and 64 forewords or prefaces. He also created the Future Problem Solving Program International, the Incubation Curriculum Model, and the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking.
Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) Main article: Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking Threshold Hypothesis There has been debate in the psychological literature about whether intelligence and creativity are part of the same process (the conjoint hypothesis) or represent distinct mental processes (the disjoint hypothesis). Evidence attempts to look at correlations between intelligence and creativity from the 1950s onwards, by authors such as Barron, Guilford or Wallach and Kogan, regularly suggested that correlations between these concepts were low enough to justify treating them as distinct concepts.
Some researchers believe that creativity is the outcome of the same cognitive processes as intelligence, and that it is only judged as creativity in terms of its consequences, i.e.: when the outcome of cognitive processes happens to produce something novel, a view which Perkins has termed the "nothing special" hypothesis. A very popular model is what has come to be known as "the threshold hypothesis", proposed by Torrance, which holds that, in a general sample, there will be a positive correlation between low creativity and intelligence scores, but a correlation will not be found with higher scores.
Research into the threshold hypothesis, however, has produced mixed results ranging from enthusiastic support to refutation and rejection. Legacy In 1984, the University of Georgia established the Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development. A special issue of Creativity Research Journal (guest edited by James C. Kaufman and John Baer) was dedicated to his honor and memory.The National Association for Gifted Children has designated a special lecture dedicated to Torrance in one of its focus interest groups.
See also Creative Education Foundation John Curtis Gowan Biography Torrance, E.P. (1974). Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking. Scholastic Testing Service, Inc. Millar, G.W. (2007). E. Paul Torrance, "The Creativity Man" : an Authorized Biography. ISBN 1-56750-165-6. References ^ "E. Paul Torrance Collection at Georgia College". Archived from the original on 2014-01-03. ^ Spilman, Karen (2002). "E.
Paul Torrance Papers, 1957-1967". The University of MinnesotaArchives. External links Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development E. Paul Torrence papers, University Archives, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Authority control WorldCat Identities VIAF: 30345201 LCCN: n79147959 ISNI: 0000 0001 1440 7053 GND: 11937501X SELIBR: 328367 SUDOC: 078181038 NLA: 36528091 NDL: 00458952 NKC: mzk2013765534 BNE: XX867665 IATH: w64n30fk Retrieved from "https://en.
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Enlarge this image E. Paul Torrance, shown here in the mid-'80s, spent most of his career studying and encouraging students' creativity. Courtesy University of Georgia hide caption toggle caption Courtesy University of Georgia This is the second in a three-part series about the intersection of education and the arts. Let's start with a question from a standardized test: "How would the world be different if we all had a third eye in the back of our heads?" It's not a typical standardized question, but as part of the Next Generation Creativity Survey, it's used to help measure creativity a bit like an IQ test measures intelligence.
And it's not the only creativity test out there. So why bother measuring creativity? James Catterall, a psychologist and director of the Centers for Research on Creativity in Los Angeles, says the simple answer is that if society, business and education demands it, then we need to know when it's happening; otherwise, we're just guessing when it's there. He says, "Measuring is an important aspect of knowing where our investments pay off.
" Troublemaker Or Misunderstood Creative Genius? In the late 1950s, a man named E. Paul Torrance was similarly interested in children's creativity. Torrance was a Georgia farm boy-turned-psychologist, and one of his first jobs was working with boys at a military academy. It was there that he began to see creativity as something that was misunderstood. Bonnie Cramond, director of the Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development at the University of Georgia, says a lot of the boys Torrance worked with were thought to be troublemakers.
"They were high-energy kids with ideas," she says, "and those don't always fit into a very structured school situation. And so [Torrance] did a lot of research in how, for example, teachers much prefer highly intelligent kids and often don't like highly creative kids because they are harder to control and they're misunderstood." Torrance set out to change that, or at least to prove that creativity was as important as intelligence, not just in the arts, but in every field.
As part of that mission, he devised a number of ways to test for creativity. Today, the system he created is called the Torrance Test. Enlarge this image Assistant teacher Charlotte Lang Bush draws with children at Imagination Stage in Bethesda, Md. Staff members and some students at the children's theater and arts center have taken the Torrance Test to measure their creativity. Jeremy Rusnock/Courtesy Imagination Stage hide caption toggle caption Jeremy Rusnock/Courtesy Imagination Stage Rewarding The 'More Elaborate Route' Janet Stanford is the artistic director of Imagination Stage, a professional children's theater company and arts center in Bethesda, Md.
She says when she first heard about the Torrance Test, she was skeptical. "Initially I thought, as many people do, 'Well, creativity is not something you can measure. It's this sort of wonderful gift and let's not question it too carefully.' " But Stanford was curious, so she ordered the test packet anyway, and she also got to see some of the results. In the "figural" section of the test, there's a page with a large, black egg shape in the middle.
Test-takers are asked to make a picture out of it that "no one else will think of." "One little boy created a cave out of it," Stanford remembers. "He put a cliff around it, and so there was a ladder going up to this hole as if it was a great cave. And then there was a Martian or some kind of alien spaceship in the air, and this little boy who was hiding from the aliens. I mean, the world that he created was complete.
" Stanford was intrigued enough that she asked her entire staff to take the test. There was some resistance at first, but then a few members like Lauren Williams learned to grade the test. Williams says that for a test about creativity, it has a lot of unexpected details. Take, for example, the test's "resistance to premature closure" section, where test-takers are asked to turn lines on the page into a picture somehow.
"They look for people who choose not to take the quickest way and to choose a longer, more elaborate route instead," she says. "And you get points for that." Shining Light On A Hidden Problem The Torrance Test has been translated into several languages and is mostly used for admission to gifted and talented programs. But other creativity tests are also in the works — James Catterall and his team at the Centers for Research on Creativity are still tweaking theirs.
Catterall says they made an interesting discovery while they were testing out their survey: Elementary school kids scored better on it than high school kids did. "I think the expression that many people use is that the schools have a tendency to suck the creativity out of kids over time," he says. And that's a problem — a problem that will require enormous creativity to solve.
Title: Paul Torrance Creativity Test