STUDY ALERT: Making creative metaphors: The importance of fluid intelligence for creative thought

Making creative metaphors: The importance of fluid intelligence for creative thought

Paul J. Silvia, Roger E. Beaty

The relationship between intelligence and creativity remains controversial. The present re- search explored this issue by studying the role of fluid intelligence (Gf) in the generation of creative metaphors. Participants (n=132 young adults) completed six nonverbal tests of Gf (primarily tests of inductive reasoning) and were then asked to create metaphors that de- scribed a past emotional experience. The metaphors were rated for creative quality. Latent var- iable models found that Gf explained approximately 24% of the variance in metaphor quality (standardized beta=.49), consistent with the view that creative ideation engages executive processes and abilities. The effect of Gf remained substantial after including personality (the Big Five factors) in the model. The discussion considers implications for the debate over intel- ligence and creativity as well as for the cognitive abilities involved in metaphor production.

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