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Assessing Creativity with the Consensual Assessment Technique

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Creativity and Culture book series (PASCC)

Abstract

The Consensual Assessment Technique (CAT) is a way of judging the creativity of a group of artifacts in a domain, such as a group of poems, stories, or works of art (the three domains in which the CAT has been used most widely, although the CAT can be used in any domain). The CAT follows the method most often used in judging creativity in the “real world” in that it is based on the combined assessments of experts in the domain. Although the word “consensual” points to the social aspect of CAT assessments, which rely on the combined judgments of groups of human experts, the CAT’s focus is on creative products; these assessments can then also be used to make inferences about thought processes, environments, and personality traits that lead to creativity. Unlike many creativity assessments, the CAT is not tied to a specific theory of creativity, making it especially useful in empirical studies comparing different theoretical predictions. The CAT is also well suited for making decisions about the creativity of applicants for educational programs and for judging the creativity of submissions to competitions of all kinds.

Keywords

  • Consensual assessment technique
  • Creativity
  • Creativity assessment
  • Domains

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Notes

  1. 1.

    It is beyond the scope of this chapter, but in some domains the question of who are appropriate judges is an important and complex one. In judging movies, for example, the Academy Awards, the Directors’ Guild Awards, and the People’s Choice Awards may come to different conclusions, and for some domains, such as judging the creativity of cartoon captions, it is not clear that there is any generally recognized group of experts. See, e.g., Glăveanu, 2012, and Kaufman, Baer, and Cole, 2009.

  2. 2.

    This change in orchestra auditions has had a major impact, but it should be noted that many barriers to gender equality in orchestras remain; see, e.g., Phelps, 2010.

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Baer, J., Kaufman, J.C. (2019). Assessing Creativity with the Consensual Assessment Technique. In: Lebuda, I., Glăveanu, V. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Social Creativity Research. Palgrave Studies in Creativity and Culture. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-95498-1_3

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