March 28, 2017
by Carla Johnson
A Harvard grad, Dr. Donald W. MacKinnon was a psychology professor at the University of California at Berkeley who researched creativity. In 1949 he founded The Institute of Personality Assessment and Research (IPAR). After his retirement, he was a visiting fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership.
Throughout his career, MacKennon dug deep into creativity, who had it and why, and what impact it had on their internal and external lives. He noted that highly creative people were found to be well above average intellectually, although those areas of intelligence varied between people.
When Dr. MacKennon was at IPAR, he came up with an evaluation that tested the level of a person’s creativity. He had shown that the adjectives that more creative people choose to describe themselves reveal that they have excellent self-images. Paradoxically, they may also choose the more favorable adjectives.
Dr. MacKennon explained it this way:
“One finds in these contrasting self descriptions a hint of one of the most salient characteristics of the creative person, namely his courage. It is a personal courage of the mind, which often makes a person stand aside from society and in conflict with it. It is the courage to be oneself in the fullest sense to grow into the person one is capable of becoming.”
Curious if you have the courage to officially rank as creative? Take the test yourself.
- Would you rather be considered
- Does following a schedule
- Appeal to you?
- Cramp you?
- Do you often get behind in your work?
- Do hunches come to you just before you go to sleep?
- Do you often fret about daily chores?
- Do you like to introduce the speaker at a meeting?
- Do you sometimes feel anxious about the success of your efforts?
- Do you like work in which you must influence others?
- Are you fundamentally content?
- Do you spend many evenings with friends?
- Do you frequently daydream?
- Do you remember the names of the people you met?
Select all of the adjectives from the following list that describe you:
- Life of the party
- Good natured
Answers (and a downloadable copy of the test).
For me, I lean heavily toward the creative side. I fall into the attitudes, behaviors and self-descriptive words that MacKennon laid out. Although I do tend to be cheerful and good natured…most of the time. The test put my fierce determination and independence into context. And when I feel intolerance flare up, I believe it’s because I’m getting bored and impatient.
How about you? Did anything surprise you in how you see yourself?
Photo credit: Pexels
About Carla Johnson
Carla Johnson is a world-renowned storyteller, an entertaining speaker, and a prolific author.
Over the last two decades, Carla has helped architects and actuaries, executives and volunteers, innovators and visionaries leverage the art of storytelling to inspire action. Her work with Fortune 500 brands has served as the foundation for many of her books.
In her latest project, Fast Forward Files, she contributes to a larger collection of thoughts by some of the world’s greatest minds - Shazam co-founder Dhiraj Mukherjee, activist and entrepreneur Heather Mills and behavioral designer, technologist and mental-health champion Peter Trainor. Consistently named one of the top influencers in B2B, digital and content marketing, Carla regularly challenges conventional thinking.
Today, she travels the world teaching anyone (and everyone) how to cultivate idea-driven teams that breed unstoppable creativity and game-changing innovation.