The first formal studies on the issue started from a presumed relationship between intelligence and creativity. Although many authors have subscribed to this relationship, including that the two are different dimensions of a single psychic phenomenon, such a relationship has not been empirically demonstrated.
Intelligence and creativity: Threshold Theory
Torrance (1962) with his Threshold Theory, was one of the first authors who advocated the separation of both concepts. This author understands that, although a minimum level of intelligence (measured as IQ) or IQ threshold is necessary for creativity to be expressed, there is no clear correlation between creativity and intelligence, neither below nor above said threshold. That is, intelligence is a necessary but not sufficient condition for creativity. Along the same lines are the works of Gelzels and Jackson (1962) and Wallach and Kogan (1965).
Later, Runco and Albert (1987) were against Torrance’s theory and declared that the threshold effect was nothing more than a psychometric artifact since they had found different correlations between creativity and intelligence using different tests.
Other authors point out that creativity and intelligence are two quite separate skill sets, especially from adolescence (Albert & Runco, 1989). There are also authors who defend that both constructs are different but related to such an extent that they can overlap (Barron, 1988; Mednick, 1962; Renzulli, 1977).
Some proposals for the relationship between intelligence and creativity
Continuing with the hypothesis of the relationship between creativity and intelligence, Sternberg, Kaufman, and Pretz (2002) conducted a study in which they concluded that the relationship between both constructs depends mainly on the way these are defined and how they are measured.
According to Sternberg (2010), some of the hypotheses that have been raised about the intelligence-creativity relationship are:
Proposal of heuristics to distinguish intelligence and creativity
Although both constructs are multifaceted, a key is usually used to distinguish the creative person from the intelligent person, although it is pretty reductionist. The creative person is often characterized by their mental fluidity or ability to generate a large number of alternatives (not always valid). In contrast, the intelligent person is characterized by focusing on the best available alternative in each situation, even if it is not an own invention. As a heuristic, such a distinction is helpful, but it is clearly insufficient to measure either of the two qualities scientifically.
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