[Mise à jour du 23/07/21]
You can test your creativity with this word game
Creativity is defined as a capacity or faculty of invention, creation and imagination. Many traditional measures of creativity require subjective and tedious scoring procedures, which is why researchers at McGill University (Canada) have developed a simple pun to be able to predict a person’s creativity: appoint words unrelated to each other. The latter started from the observation that creative people are able to generate more divergent ideas and that if this is correct, the simple fact of naming unrelated words and then measuring the semantic distance between them could serve as an objective measure.
So a person can she think of three words that have nothing to do with each other? What about four, five, or even ten? The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, uses the Divergent Association Task (DAT), a test of 4 minutes and 10 words to measure this aspect of creative potential. The DAT was designed by Jay Olson, a research fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill, who was inspired by a breeze involving thinking about unrelated words. He wondered if a similar task could serve as a simple and elegant way to measure “divergent thinking”, soit the ability to generate various solutions to an open problem.
“Better understand this fundamental human capacity”
Because although studies on creativity and its nature are not new, relatively little is known about the process itself. “Creativity is fundamental in human life. The more we understand its complexity, the better we can promote creativity in all its forms. “, explains Jay Olson. To test this hypothesis, the researchers asked 8,914 participants to name 10 words that were as different from each other as possible. A calculation algorithm then estimated the average semantic distance between the words: Apparent words (eg cat and dog) have shorter distances than unrelated words (eg cat and thimble).
The team’s first study found moderate to strong correlations between semantic distance of words and two creativity measures commonly used by the scientific community (the Alternative Uses Task and the Bridge-the-Associative-Gap Task). This was applied to a subsequent study with 8,500 participants from 98 countries, and the results showed that semantic distances varied only slightly based on demographic variables, suggesting that the measure can be used in various populations. Overall, the semantic distance was at least as strongly correlated with creativity measures established that these measures were among themselves.
This finding is important since, according to the scientific team, naming unrelated words in what they call the “Divergent association task” can therefore serve as a brief and reliable measure of a person’s creativity. This will make large-scale and multicultural evaluations easier and thus offer an alternative to the current subjective and time-consuming scoring procedures. “Our task measures only a fragment of a type of creativity. But these results allow creativity to be assessed on larger, more diverse samples with less bias, which will ultimately help us better understand this fundamental human ability. », Concludes Jay Olson.
Creative hobbies: why is it good for morale?
Jewelry, couture or small decoration, we are more and more willing to indulge in the joys of homemade. Simple manual activities? Much more in reality. Because creative hobbies make us more confident, more relaxed, less stressed. In a word, more serene.
“Creative hobbies require concentration,” specifies Florence Servan-Schreiber, “they mobilize our skills, bring our creativity into play and help us progress. It is all this that makes us happy. It is the experience of flow, well known in positive psychology and described by the Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, this positive cocktail that allows us to deliver the best of ourselves … for ourselves. “
Express your emotions with DIY
Stress, fatigue, annoyances, delays, our days are tense, but we contain ourselves. At what price? “Creative activities and particularly drawing are great catalysts for the tensions that run through us,” emphasizes Valérie Barrois, sophrologist. It doesn’t all have to be in words. Collage, writing, doodling allow you to bring your feelings back into balance. Slowly. Regardless of the tool, a felt-tip pen, a pen, as long as you feel good with it, you will be able to deposit your emotions on this object that you create. ”
To this, Marie-Laure Dubois, art therapist, adds that indulging in a creative hobby, “is find a medium on which to let our stress escape, but it is also giving it a positive outcome in the realization of an object that pleases us. We can then consider what weighed on us in another way and go beyond it. ”
To clear the mind”
It has become commonplace to highlight the extent to which women lead several lives at the same time. The mind is never at rest, we are parasitized with thoughts constantly.
“When you practice a manual activity, analyzes Valérie Barrois, there is an automatic effect, the mind focuses on the work done, free of negative thoughts. When we create something with our hands, we go into pause mode, we no longer think about all those little everyday things that burden us. We have embarked on the present day. “
Embroidering or knitting is a way of approaching a certain form of meditation. “Creative hobbies lead us there,” notes Françoise Dorn, psychotherapist, “in that they allow us to relax, we find our child’s soul, we dream awake. ”
We leave the rational mode in which we are used to functioning to enter a state of contemplation which immediately lowers the tension. And Sylvie Verbois adds: “By allowing us to install an interior silence, we awaken to ourselves. It is a journey that does not happen all at once, but this awareness of oneself is very liberating. ”
Today, we have the impression that everything is slipping away from us. Decisions are made elsewhere. We feel carried away in great movements that overtake us. “Coloring a mandala, customizing a cushion, these are all small victories that give us back control over our life,” says Florence Servan-Schreiber. In front of our creation, we can exclaim “I did it!” ”
We can see that making a bracelet ourselves fills us with joy, much more than buying it in a store. And what if we offer it on top of that! We are filled with pride in having done, whatever the outcome. ”
Develop your confidence
When we were little, we were found to be “clumsy”, “lazy”, “distracted” … So many labels that make us insidiously lose confidence in our abilities.
“However, creative hobbies allow you to marvel at the resources that you discover in yourself,” emphasizes Françoise Dorn. In this time that we agree, in this bubble for ourselves away from work or tasks to be accomplished, it is a gift that we offer ourselves. We see ourselves capable of making an object, we go beyond our limits almost effortlessly, we discover unsuspected talents. This is another way to develop beyond the negative messages that we may have received. “
Read also: How to regain self-confidence
Feed your intuition
For the sake of efficiency, out of a desire to do well, we increasingly want to control everything, from work to family relations to our image.
“Planning for everything reassures us,” notes Marie-Laure Verbois. However, this represents a huge pressure that restrains our intuition. Now, intuition must be practiced to serve us. Creation allows give backroom to novelty, surprises, what we weren’t expecting. By practicing these activities, we reconnect with this intuitive part of our personality. All our facets can be expressed, including the most unforeseen. “
Apprehend the unknown
This is perhaps one of the most astonishing benefits of waiting for an hour spent knitting or gluing small papers, it allows us to release part of our unconscious.
“In the happiness workshops that I lead,” says Florence Servan-Schreiber, “I ask people to tell in pictures that they cut out in magazines and that they stick on a sheet the way they see themselves in a few years. At first, it seems messy, but little by little these collages let the subconscious speak. Easy to achieve, they tell us, tell us our ambitions, what we like, what we would like to be …
DIY and creative leisure: where and how to practice?
Tutorials abound on the Web and social networks. Some sites:
- for children: the site Parents Kids
- the site Creative House
- the participatory tutorial platform The DIY Factory.
Note: specialist brands like Cultura organize creative workshops all year round. To be continued on cultura.com.