The Emotional Intelligence of the Divergent Association Task (DAT)

As the special reader of my blogs knows I am a sucker to for short (5 minutes or less) personality tests.  Several days ago, I was sent this blog:

Ability To Name Unrelated Words Is A Good Test Of Creativity

The blog discusses a new test: the Divergent Association Task (DAT) developed by a team of researchers led by J.A. Olsen of Harvard but including, I am proud to day, researchers from the University of Melbourne.  It takes about 4 minutes to do and measures the level of creativity in a person.

This has always been an interesting problem for me.  When I first learnt about the Five Factor Model the factor associated with creativity was named Openness to Creativity.  Subsequently, and this is a change with which I disagree, it was changed to Openness to Experience.  As I explained in this blog I think the change was made because there are not actually that many truly creative people in this world.

In the 7MTF model that I am promoting as the best and most practical tool for lifting your emotional intelligence Openness to Creativity is associated with the Artist.  When I did the Humm-Wadsworth test in 1976 my Artist and Doublechecker were the two lowest components.  This result was corroborated when I did the Jorden Peterson Personality course in early 2020.  Part of the course is to take a personality test based on the Five Factor Model.  For the factor Openness I was in the 20th percentile.  For the two Petersen sub-components my scores were Intellect [interest in abstract ideas] (67%) and Openness [creativity] (3%).

So I was interested in taking the DAT.  It takes less than 5 minutes to do.  My score was 81.98, higher than 72.41% of the people who have completed this task.  The average score is 78, and most people score between 74 and 82.  I think the standard deviation using the Cumulative Normal Distribution is 6.33 but I am willing to be corrected.

This result is somewhat higher than I expected but I reckon this is because the DAT score does appear to depend on not just on your level of creativity but your verbal proficiency.  If you have a high verbal IQ you most likely will have a higher DAT than you would expect.  (My low sense of modesty allows me to disclose that my verbal IQ was scored in the top 1% back in 1976 by Chandler & Macleod.  Alcohol and age have probably somewhat diminished the level.)

“Know Yourself” is one of the two Greek commandments inscribed on the Temple at Delphi and the journey of self-examination never ends.  The DAT is a useful test to take on the quest and recommended.

This blog was first published on LinkedIn on 28 August 2021.



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