Sunday, February 05, 2012

PsyBlog: the duck/rabbit illusion provides a simple test of creativity

An interesting little link from PsyBlog about research on creativity.  Some people see only the duck, others see the duck and the rabbit, while others can rapidly switch between seeing the duck and the rabbit. Whether a person can make this shift and how quickly they can make it has turned out to be indicative of their creativity.  It's just one test, of course, but it's interesting to read about.

Being able to interpret the same thing in more than one way "is" a pretty straightforward assessment of creativity.  It may suggest that if a person were to come to, say, a poem, and see only one possible meaning for a poetic phrase or image that that person is not very creative. 

Ah, but paradoxically that narrowness of mind can inspire nearly unlimited springs of creativity depending on what the narrowness of one's mind may hold.  Imposing one's hopes and dreams on a text to the point where it's made to say something it doesn't say can yield a single, overriding interpretation that, though it have nothing directly to do with what is interpreted, nevertheless displays a great deal of creativity and ingenuity to avoid a more simple interpretation that leaves ambiguity.  But the apricots from the apricot tree are not the immediate concern of this blog post.

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