The theory of divergent thinking is among the most useful in all of creativity studies. Many people equate divergent thinking with creativity tests, which is not an accurate view since (a) divergent thinking is useful outside of assessment and testing and (b) divergent thinking is not synonymous with creativity. That being said, tests of divergent thinking are the most commonly used estimates of the potential for creative thinking. But divergent thinking tasks are also useful as exercises, even when there is no need or interest in measurement, and the theory of divergent thinking is useful when attempting to understand creative thought, even when there is no need for application, data, or assessment. It is a good theory. It stands up when the criteria for what makes a good theory (e.g., broad coverage, testable hypotheses, parsimony) are used to evaluate it. This entry starts with a summary of...
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