Scoring divergent thinking tests: A review and systematic framework

Roni Reiter-Palmon, Boris Forthmann, Baptiste Barbot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Divergent thinking tests are often used in creativity research as measures of creative potential. However, measurement approaches across studies vary to a great extent. One facet of divergent thinking measurement that contributes strongly to differences across studies is the scoring of participants' responses. Most commonly, responses are scored for fluency, flexibility, and originality. However, even with respect to only one dimension (e.g., originality), scoring decisions vary extensively. In the current work, a systematic framework for practical scoring decisions was developed. Scoring dimensions, instructionscoring fit, adequacy of responses, objectivity (vs. subjectivity), level of scoring (response vs. ideational pool level), and the method of aggregation were identified as determining factors of divergent thinking test scoring. In addition, recommendations and guidelines for making these decisions and reporting the information in papers have been provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-152
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2019


  • Assessment
  • Divergent thinking
  • Flexibility
  • Fluency
  • Originality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Applied Psychology


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