Investigations of the validity of divergent thinking tests
Paek, Sue Hyeon
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Despite the prevalent usage of divergent thinking (DT) tests in creativity research, DT tests have been plagued by the lack of discriminant and criterion-related validity. In previous literature, the complex nature and scoring procedure of DT tests were not fully dealt with in examining the discriminant and criterion-related validity of DT tests, which may have weakened empirical evidence on validity. Therefore, the current studies aimed to investigate the discriminant and criterion-related validity of DT tests by taking into account the complexity and procedure of DT tests. The first study examined the discriminant validity of DT indices, ruling out a potential method effect entailed by scoring procedure in DT tests using multitrait-multimethod analysis. Results indicated that the method effect was present, and fluency and originality were discriminable against one another when the method effect was ruled out. This finding provides empirical evidence indicative of the discriminant validity of DT indices. The second study investigated the criterion-related validity of DT tests using latent profile analysis. Results indicated that three groups with their own DT profiles were present, and this group membership significantly explained individual differences in creative achievement and ideational behaviors. This finding implies that the low correlations between DT and creative performance in a conventional approach do not necessarily indicate a lack in the criterion-related validity of DT tests where heterogeneous groups are present.