New and Existing Instruments for Identifying Creative Personalities

Creativity research has yielded results which provide counsellors with some very useful guides for maximizing the usefulness of existing instruments such as the Strong Vocational Interest Blank, the Allport-Vernon-Lindzey Study of Values, and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory.

Some of the most useful research findings involving these instruments come from the studies of MacKinnon (1960) and his associates at the University of California Institute for Personality Assessment and Research.

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A finding obtained in their first study of graduate students and repeatedly confirmed in investigations of other groups is that individuals who rated high on originality reveal a characteristic pattern of scores on the Strong Vocational Interest Blank.

The more original subjects, with slight variations from sample to sample, rate high on such scales as architect, psychologist, author-journalist, and specialization level; and low scores on such scales as purchasing agent, office man, banker, farmer, carpenter, veterinarian, policeman, and mortician.

Mac-Kinnon interprets these findings as indicating that creative individuals are less interested in small details and the practical and concrete aspects of life, and more concerned with meanings, implications, and symbolic equivalents of things and ideas.

A consistent finding from the use of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory occurs in the realm of sexual identification and interests.

All of MacKinnon’s highly creative male groups show unusually high peaks on the Masculinity-Feminist Scale.

For example, he found a mean standard score of 72 for his group of creative architects. These creative men were not characterised by markedly effeminate manner or appearance.

MacKinnon reports that in applying an adjective check list to describe these men, his staff frequently checked both ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine.’ They showed openness to their feelings and emotions, a sensitive awareness of self and others, and wide- ranging interests, many of which are regarded as feminine in our culture.

In one of Minnesota studies (Torrance, 1959c) involving the 1959 Summer Guidance Institute, an interesting supplementary result was obtained.

Beginning with the male counsellors having standard scores of 55 or above on the Masculinity-Feminity Scale, the researcher identified two patterns: an independent pattern involving low social introversion, high manic and high psychopathic deviate, and a dependent pattern involving high scores on the neurotic triad and psychasthenia.

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