Score Vs High Creativity
In the late 1960s, I read a fascinating book that compared high IQ test scoring versus high creativity test scoring kids in a Chicago school (see J.Getzels and P. Jackson, Creativity and Intelligence, New York: Wiley, 1962). The creative kids were quite distinctive. Both sets of kids were given a picture and asked to make up a story based on the picture. As an example, a picture was that of a man sitting on a plane. The high IQ child told the following story:
“Mr. Smith is on his way home from a successful business trip. He is happy and he is thinking about his wonderful family and how glad he will be to see them again. He can picture it, about an hour from now, his plane landing at the airport and Mrs. Smith and their children all there welcoming him home again.”
Compare this happy, trite story with the fun and offbeat fantasy of the creative child:
“This man is flying back from Reno where he has just won a divorce from his wife. He couldn’t stand to live with her anymore, he told the judge, because she wore so much cold cream on her face at night that her head would skid across the pillow and hit him in the head. He is now contemplating a new skid-proof face cream.”
The researchers probed the home environments of both sets of kids. The parents of the creative children encouraged far more often off-beat hobbies, interests, and careers. They did not emphasize academic performance quite as much. The parents themselves tended to be non-conventional. They were intensely involved in their children’s talent development. They went out of their way to find the best tutors in subjects of interest to their kids. They were ethical but less dogmatically religious, less authoritarian, and more respectful of their children. They subscribed to offbeat periodicals, vacationed in offbeat places, and were less obsessed with order and neatness.
Fast Forward to Civilizational Greatness: Agenda for India by Prof. Pradip Khandwalla, Reproduced with permission of author