Intra-individual variability in divergent thinking in response to audio, visual, and tactile stimuli


Clinical Research Center for the Study of Childhood Psychosis, Neuropsychiatric Institute, UCLA, 760 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA.


This study explored intra-individual variability in divergent thinking (fluency, flexibility, and originality) in response to audio, visual, and tactile stimuli. Forty-four participants responded to three divergent thinking tasks. The divergent thinking assessors were structurally similar (i.e. duration of task, amount of stimuli presented, time allowed for responding), but differed in that one was based on auditory stimuli, a second used visual stimuli, and the third required participants to respond to tactile stimuli. A within-subjects repeated measures research design was used; task treatment order was counterbalanced across subjects. A principal components factor analysis with oblique rotation distinguished three divergent thinking factors defined by sensory modality response preferences. Within-individual differences in level of originality appeared as a function of the kind of stimuli which served to evoke divergent thinking. Results are discussed in the light of the need for discriminating the dimensionality of creativity as a construct.