Workshop (8)

WCR: A New Easy-to-Be Administered Test to Assess Creative Thinking Skills.
Alessandro Antonietti
Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milano, Italy.
The availability of appropriate creativity tests is a need in many fields, both to measure people’s starting levels of creativity (for instance, in order to choose training procedures which match them) and to verify, through test-retest designs, the outcomes of interventions aimed at enhancing creativity. The existing creativity tests usually shows some limits such as a restricted age range of applicability, long time needed to administer it, complex and non-univocal scoring criteria. In the past years a team – which included Valentina Rita Andolfi, Letizia Dalla Zoppa, Marisa Giorgetti, Paola Pizzingrilli and Chiara Valenti – tried to overcome these limitations by devising a new creativity test. Such a test has been called WCR on the basis of the acronyms of the three main mental operations (Widening, Combining, Reorganising) which have been assumed to underlie creative thinking.
Six versions of the WCR test are available, each for a specific age/school level, so to cover a broad lifespan: kindergarten school (3-5 years), 1st and 2nd grades of the primary school (6-7 years), 3rd to 5th grades of the primary school (8-10 years), 1st to 3rd grades of the junior secondary school (11-12 years), 1st to 5th grades of the high secondary school (13-17 years), university (18 to 25 years), adulthood (from 26 to 60 years).
Each version has the same standard structure, consisting of 3 items for each subtest. In the first sub-test (Widening) the respondent is asked to interpret or analyse a given element. In the second subtest (Connecting) the respondent is asked to choose the elements that he/she would associate to a given situation and to justify the choice. In the third sub-test (Reorganising), faced with a hypothetical situation, the respondent is asked to choose one answer among alternatives which vary gradually from obvious to unusual consequences. He/she must choose the scenario that, in his/her opinion, completes the initial scene and, on the basis of such choice, to invent a little story. All items consist of visual stimuli – such as images of objects, geometrical figures or scenes – and verbal stimuli, ranging from the presentation of single words to short descriptions.
To each answer which can be endorsed a score ranging from 1 to 3 is associated according to how frequently it has been chosen by the respective normative samples: the lower is the frequency of the endorsement, the higher is the degree of originality which is assumed to correspond to that choice. Thus, no subjective bias can affect, as it happens with other creativity tests in which responses have to be interpreted, the scoring procedure.
The administration of the WCR test takes about 15 minutes and instructions are very easy to be understood and followed. Scoring is easy as well, since the endorsement of the responses can be converted automatically into a score and total scores, both of the subtests and of the whole test, can be obtained through algorithms which weight the sum of the scores of the items according to the number of requested responses in each item.
Analyses of data obtained by administering the WCR test in different contexts showed that scores correlated with other creativity measures and were sensitive to the effects of creativity trainings. In addition, it was clear that the three subtests assess correlated but not overlapping aspects of creative thinking.
The aim of the workshop is to describe the different versions of the WCR test in detail, simulate its application and scoring and to provide findings supporting the validity and reliability of the instrument. Constituting a network of researchers and practitioners interested in applying the WCR test might be a further goal.