Creative intelligence is one of the three fundamental components of Robert Sternberg’s triarchic theory of intelligence. His theory breaks down intelligence into three categories: analytical, creative, and practical.
But what is creative intelligence? How does it work? And how do you know if you have it?
We’ll explore Sternberg’s triarchic theory to help you uncover your own creative intelligence and learn how to use it to your advantage in everyday situations.
What Is Creative Intelligence?
Sternberg’s triarchic theory of intelligence defines creative intelligence (aka experiential intelligence), as the capacity to encounter a novel problem and devise a new and unique solution.
One way to assess one’s intelligence is to give an open-ended hypothetical question to an unusual problem that doesn’t really have a right or wrong answer. The intention is to see how the candidate approaches the problem and what type of intelligence do they demonstrate the most.
An example question that was asked by Google in an interview: “How much would you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?”
Yeah, good luck with that one!
If you’re the type to quickly pick up new skills and can devise solutions to abstract open-ended questions on the fly, it’s quite likely you possess creative intelligence.
It’s not about mental intelligence. It’s about mental fitness.— Jim Kwik
What is creative intelligence in psychology?
In psychology, creative intelligence (aka experiential intelligence): refers to the ability to deal with an unfamiliar problem or situation and come up with a novel solution.
Typically creative types examine experiences in ways that allow them to utilize previously collected knowledge and abstract thinking leading them towards insights and solutions.
According to Sternberg, creative intelligence requires very little outside input to function. It develops spontaneously, without instruction or guidance.
Having a powerful imagination may help you create novel solutions to new problems, but you need more than imagination to possess this form of intelligence.
Creative intelligence is a combination of creativity, innovation, intuition, perception, and intellectual curiosity.
What Is an Example of Creative Intelligence?
Creativity intelligence falls in the realm of the abstract. In the real world, creative intelligence manifests itself in all sorts of ways. Artists and musicians may be the first creative people who come to mind.
But Sternberg’s model of experiential intelligence means so much more than artistic license.
Imagine for a moment; you went camping with your friends and you realized that no one brought the lighter for the barbeque. That friend in the group that keeps on proposing and trying, what may seem to be odd ideas, is probably the one that will end up figuring out a solution to that problem.
Fast forward an hour later, he ends up lighting up a fire using one of your prescription glasses as a magnifying glass.
That person in your group would be credited as having some serious creative intelligence and putting it to use.
Why Is Creative Intelligence Important?
Have you ever had trouble learning a new task or concept? Everyone picks things up at different rates. But having the ability to pick up a new talent or skill quicker than others maybe your own experiential intelligence at work.
Creative intelligence is one of the keys to mastering new skills. Using this form of intelligence can most likely outcome in innovative solutions and ideas.
Devising new approaches to old problems is one of the hallmarks of real innovation. So, Instead of using a tried and true approach, you’re unafraid to experiment and try something new.
Learning is one of the only ways we can truly test ourselves. And the better we know our own minds, the more successful we can be.
A Final Word: About Creative Intelligence
We’d like to close with a quote by author, and international advisor on education, Sir Kenneth Robinson. What he said in one of his talks really resonates and speaks loudly on the values of creativity in life:
Creativity is as important in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status. Furthermore, creativity is basic to making our society viable because without we would lose our competitive edge.