Five Challenges to Test Your Creativity

Everywhere we see, there are articles, books and road signs that say we must improve our creativity in order to expand our capacity for problem solving and make our lives more interesting. Many research papers and social experiments focus on various ways of measuring the creative capacity of a person or a group of people and, it turns out, a majority of those measurements are down using a common set of five tests or challenges. Whenever a subject is said to be put through a creativity test, essentially the person will be going through the following set of tests or at least some variations of it.

1. Alternative Uses:
Given a mundane item, say a thumb tack, see how many uses you can think of for that item other than its primary use. For a Thumb tack, its primary use is to fix a piece of paper to a board. What other uses can you think of? colorful lapel pin, use it draw a small circle, thread a twine, pop bubble wrap, reset electronic devices and so on. That is only five, but you should be able to come up with as many as possible. You get more points for uses that are original, novel and more concrete instead of just vague ideas.

2. Incomplete Figure:
As the name suggests, in a piece of paper you will be given an incomplete and unidentifiable shape and its your job to complete the picture. The point is not to be accurate, but how wild and far out can you go with that single random doodle.

Everyone knows what riddles are.

4. Remote Associations:
This is somewhat related to Alternative Uses, but instead of trying to find infinite answers, this challenges you to find the narrow set of answers. You will be given three or four set of seemingly unrelated words and you will have to list the next word that links all of them. For Eg: Manners – Round – Tennis: answer is Table, since we can connect them as Table Manners, Round Table and Table Tennis.

5. Candle Problem
This is a riddle with some of your senses primed to box your way of thinking and your challenge is to think outside the box and find a way to solve it. The candle problem itself is a simple one but there are many similar ones that are hard to crack.

All of this information comes from a recent article posted in The 99 Percent where they also list a number of other examples for each of these challenges and point to other resources where you can find a variety of puzzles and games to test and grow your creative prowess.

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