In a ‘divergence test’ you are asked a question such as this:
Write down as many different uses as you can think of for the following objects:
1. a brick
2. a blanket
Go on, get yourself a piece of paper and take a minute or so to write down your answers!
A ‘divergence test’ is very different from a typical IQ test in that it requires you to use your imagination and take your mind in as many different directions as possible. With a ‘divergence test’ there is no single right answer. Instead, it is a way to find out how unique your answers are and how many ideas you can come up with on the spot. Rather than measuring analytical intelligence, the results of this test will give you a clue about a person’s creativity.
Let’s have two candidates, Inigo and Glen, submitting their answers below.
1. Brick: to create a piece of modern art; to build a house; a paperweight; a door stopper; a murder weapon; a building material for an assault course; impromptu weight training; a prank (put it into a backpack of a hiker at lunchtime - see if they notice a difference).
2. Blanket: bed cover; hide mess in the bedroom; put out fire; handicraft project; quickie in the park; stuffing for a sumo wrestler fancy dress outfit; fold over to make a cushion to prop a child at a dinner table.
1. Brick: building things, throwing
2. Blanket: keep warm, smother fire, an improvised hammock?
You see where I am going with this… If you are looking for someone with a quick and creative mind to thrive in a start-up or in a corporate environment, to come up with ideas and creative solutions, to get things done despite time pressure and other challenges, chances are you’d want someone with a bit more imagination than Glen. Glen is great for brick-laying, mind.