Secrets Of The Creative Brain

9. Question: is High IQ = Creativity?

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An extensive and scientific method of studying creativity can be found in the research conducted by Lewis Terman. In the early 1900s Mr. Terman, then a psychologist at Stanford University, had started to use a time-series approach. At the time, this was considered a novelty and pretty soon the study became the longest research study in the entire world. USA’s very first IQ test was created by Mr. Terman in the year 1916. He derived this from the original, created by the psychologist Alfred Binet from France, and understandably named it the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales. This new test came in handy for Mr. Terman as he was able to use it later on to recruit students with a high level of IQ for his time-series research. An easy relation was noticed instantly – the fact that the youngest pupil in a class was highly likely to have a high level of IQ. Mr. Terman’s students, soon nicknamed ‘Termites’, have successfully dismissed previously held clichés and brought new inconsistencies. The students were better off in terms of body structure. Unsurprisingly, the only drawback was a lack of imagination. The children adapted to changes in environment better and were also more mature compared to others. The students’ high levels of IQ did not indicate creativity later in adulthood. A very small fraction of the subjects made substantial creative progress to his or her environment; not one of the subjects exhibited absurd levels of creativity and were not recipients of prizes, like the coveted Nobel (To the contrary, a child residing in California at the same time the study was initiated did not make it to the final list of students. He would later help to invent the transistor and consequently be awarded the Nobel Prize for it in Physics. The name of the child was William Shockley). Still today, many believe that genius and intelligence are the same but a vital finding from Mr. Terman’s research is that a towering IQ is not a requirement for creativity. Future research conducted by others only strengthened this concept and gave birth to what is known as the gateway theory. The theory states after a certain threshold, intellect ceases affect genius. True, those who are creative are intelligent but they don’t have to be extremely so. The theory provided a rough estimate of a 120 IQ to be enough for creativity in excellent forms.

So it’s safe to say that lofty levels of IQ do not necessarily mean creativity, but what does indicate creativity? How can creativity in individuals be detected for further study?