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Benedek, Mathias; Könen, Tanja; Neubauer, Aljoscha C.:

Associative abilities underlying creativity

In: Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 6 (2012) 3 , 273 - 281


Document type
3a. Beiträge in begutachteten Zeitschriften; Aufsatz (keine besondere Kategorie)

Assoziation, Denken, Empirische Untersuchung, Fähigkeit, Graz, Intelligenz, Kognitive Kompetenz, Kognitive Prozesse, Kreativität, Österreich, Student, Test

Empirical approaches to cognitive ability claim that divergent thinking represents a useful estimate for the potential of creative thought. According to associative approaches, the ability to fluently retrieve and combine remote associations was suggested to facilitate creative solutions. Taken together, these approaches suggest a close relationship of associative processes and divergent thinking, which so far, however, has not been properly tested. Therefore, the present study examines the validity of associative abilities with respect to divergent thinking, and also, on a more general level, with respect to creativity and intelligence. Four different word-association tasks were employed to assess associative fluency, associative flexibility, dissociative ability, and the ability of associative combination. The sample comprised 150 students from studies with varying amount of creativity-related demands. Associative abilities were found to explain about half of the variance of divergent thinking ability. Latent variable modeling confirmed the significance of dissociation and associative combination for creativity, but also substantiates the relevance of basic associative retrieval processes for intelligence. It is concluded that associative abilities represent valid elementary cognitive abilities underlying creativity.

Education and Human Development