Introducing a personal-originality approach for scoring children's divergent thinking
Divergent thinking (DT), which can be described as the ability to conceive of and express a variety of novel solutions to open-ended problems (Gibson et al., 2009), is one of the most commonly studied constructs related to creative thinking (Runco & Acar, 2012). There is considerable evidence that DT is predictive of later creative behavior and achievement (Benedek et al., 2014; Cramond et al., 2005; Kim, 2008). However, current methods for studying DT rely extensively on cross-sectional comparisons of young children, which may diminish the ability to detect key indicators of DT, such as child-level originality. The current study introduces a personal-originality (PO) approach for scoring children's performance in common DT tasks. While originality is often assessed in terms of statistical rarity (i.e., objective scoring) or subjective ratings, the PO scoring approach used in the current study captures DT at the child level through the strategic use of incubation periods. That is, children demonstO by producing new ideas after time away from the task. The current study explored the effects of both short (i.e., 2 minutes) and long (i.e., several days) incubation periods on 42 three- to six-year-olds' DT performance.