Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Much research in recent years has been devoted to the identification and measurement of creative abilities. It was postulated that Werner's orthogenetic principle, in which development is conceptualized as proceeding from a state of relative lack of differentiation of functions to a state of increasing differentiation, articulation, and hierarchic integration of functions, might be applied to cognitive development in order to provide a useful model for investigating such abilities. A parallel interest of the investigator was the use of the Stroop Color-Word Test as a measure of hierarchic integration of cognitive functions (here called cognitive flexibility).

Three hundred and fifty-nine subjects were screened in order to identify three groups of individuals: those both highly differentiated (as inferred from level of perceptual fieldindependence) and highly flexible (HFI-HCF), who were hypothesized to be the most creative; those highly differentiated but exhibiting low flexibility (HFI-LCF), who were hypothesized to exhibit moderate levels of creativity; those exhibiting low differentiation and low flexibility (LFI-LCF), who were hypothesized to be the least creative. However, when these identified subjects were administered the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking and the Otis- Gamma intelligence test (to assess the contribution of intelligence to creativity) this hypothesis was not borne out. In fact, the HFI-LCF subjects performed most creatively, followed by the HFI-HCF and then the LFI-LCF subjects, although none of the five creativity score differences were found to be statistically significant. These results were discussed in terms of possible methodological and conceptual shortcomings and suggestions for future research were advanced.