Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Kenneth A. Deffenbacher

Second Advisor

James Thomas

Third Advisor

Gary Larsen


Despite considerable interest in the problem of creativity, both in psychology and in other fields, there is still no standard definition of the term. Guilford (1 9 6 7 ) defines creativity by making a distinction between convergent thinking and divergent thinking. In convergent thinking, according to Guilford, there is a single right answer or best answer to a problem, while in divergent thinking there is not. He uses the term divergent thinking interchangeably with creativity. Ilis research indicates that of the factors identified as making up divergent thinking, ideational fluency, which Guilford defines as fairly rapid generation of units of verbal or semantic information, has least variance in common with intelligence. The correlation between ideational fluency and convergent thinking is .01 (Guilford, Frick, Christensen, & Merrifield, 1957)* Since a number of studies have indicated fairly low correlations (around .3 ) between I.Q, scores and scores of creativity, at least in children (e.g., Getzels & Jackson, 1962), it would seem that ideational fluency may be an important component of creativity. Other writers approach the term somewhat differently. Parnes and Meadow (1959) use the criteria of uniqueness and usefulness as determiners of good ideas in their studies on creativity. Wallach and Kogan (19&5) speak of total number of ideas generated as well as their uniqueness within a given subject sample. Though ideational output includes qualitative considerations as well as quantitative ones, the present study is concerned only with the quantitative — number of ideas produced in a divergent thinking situation.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska at Omaha In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts.

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