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Title:Response to the Blank Card of the Thematic Apperception Test as an Indication of Creativity
Author(s):Wakefield, John Frederick
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, General
Abstract:Since 1946, researchers have used picture cards from the Thematic Apperception Test as stimuli to evoke creative responses, but the usefulness of these cards has never been compared to that of the blank card (Card 16), which presents alternative conditions for the emergence of creativity. The blank card is analogous to a blank sheet of paper or a blank canvas because it provides the subject with an opportunity for relatively free association. The subject is free to set his or her own problem before solving it. The present study was designed to investigate the hypothesis that responses to the blank card would correlate more positively with measures of creativity than responses to picture cards.
The Remote Associates Test and two Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (Unusual Uses and Unusual Questions) were administered to 64 female and 26 male college students, then separate sets of ten TAT cards were administered to each female (N = 47) and a male (N = 12) subject. Three standard measures of response to each card (reaction time, story duration, and total wordage) were chosen as variables which might reflect creative delay and creative elaboration of responses.
The findings of the primary study (N = 47) tended to confirm the central hypothesis for duration and wordage of TAT stories. The correlation between the duration of blank card stories and the RAT (.34) was significant at the .01 level, and that between the duration of these stories and the Unusual Uses originality score (.24) was significant at the .05 level. In addition, these values were significantly higher than at least one of the two corresponding values for eight of the nine picture cards. Similar results were obtained with respect to total wordage, but in the secondary study (N = 12), few significant correlations were found for any card in any dimension.
Qualitative analysis of all 59 blank card stories indicated that responses which developed as fantasies (Freud, 1908) and which contained creative qualities (Getzels, 1962) were characterized by their potential for meaningful elaboration.
The findings suggest that a blank among ambiguous stimuli can be more valuable for evoking creative responses than the ambiguous stimuli alone. More specifically, it is recommended that creativity research using the TAT should involve the blank card.
Issue Date:1981
Description:149 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1981.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8203627
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1981

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