About the task

The Divergent Association Task is a quick measure of creativity. It involves thinking of 10 words that are as different from each other as possible. For example, the words cat and dog are similar, but the words cat and jealousy are not. People who are more creative, as measured by other creativity task, are able to list words that have greater distances between them. The distances are computed using a database describing how often the words are used together in similar contexts. This task measures one kind of creativity called divergent thinking.

We have validated this task on around 9000 participants from across the world.

For researchers

Scores on the Divergent Association Task:

Most people complete the task in under 1.5 minutes and scoring is automatic, making it ideal for online tests and large samples.

For more information, see our manuscript in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The task instructions can be downloaded as a PDF or Word file. The task code is open source; contact us for assistance.