Revising the study of the authoritarian figure by Adorno, Momus reviews other studies that have spoken of different types of personalities. One of them is from the psychologist J.P. Guilford and his list of traits associated with the creative personality:

1. The ability to see or sensitivity to problems: Can state difficulties or deficiencies in common products or in social institutions, make judgement that desired goals in a described situation have not been achieved.

2. Fluency of thinking: Able to think well and effortlessly.

3. Word fluency: Can easily state words containing a given letter or combination of letters.

4. Associational fluency: Can easily state synonyms for a given word.

5. Expressional fluency: Can easily write well-formed sentences with a specified content.

6. Ideational fluency: Can easily produce ideas to fulfill certain requirements, for example to name objects that are hard, white and edible, or to write an appropriate title for a given story.

7. Flexibility of thinking: Can easily abandon old ways of thinking and adopt new ones.

8. Spontaneous flexibility: Can produce a great variety of ideas. For example in suggesting uses for a brick, subject can jump among categories, from building material to weight to missile to source of red powder.

9. Adaptive flexibility: Can generalize requirements of a problem to find a solution. For example, in a problem of forming squares using a minimum number of lines, can abandon the usual idea that all squares have to be the same size.

10. Originality: Comes up with ideas that are statistically unusual.

11. Remote associations: Forms associations between elements that are remote from each other in time, or remote from each other logically.

12. Responses are judged to be clever.

13. Redefinition: Gives up old interpretations of familiar objects and uses them in new ways.

14. Elaboration: Can fill in details given a general scheme. Given a general task, fill in the detailed steps. Given two simple lines, draw a more complex object.

15. Tolerance of ambiguity: Willingness to accept some uncertainty in conclusions, not using rigid categories.

16. Interest in convergent thinking: Thinking towards one right answer, as in solving a mathematical problem stated in a textbook.

17. Interest in divergent thinking: Open-ended thinking, where there is not a single right answer.

It is always fascinating to try to understand how creative processes are possible in creative people.


  1. Excelente post.

    Últimamente ando trabajando en mi autoestima, y debo decir que me he sentido encontrada en casi todos los rasgos descritos por JP Guilford. Lo digo sin falsas modestias, pero también sin envilecimiento alguno.

    Cuando empecé a leer sobre estudios sobre la relación entre la bipolaridad y la personalidad creativa, me di cuenta que cuando tienes mucho de algo, siempre te falta de otras cosas.

    Recomiendo "Marcados con fuego", un estudio bastante serio sobre la enfermedad maniaco-depresiva y el temperamento artístico. (Fondo de Cultura)

    Y para terminar un clásico de nuestro tiempo que relaciona la genialidad y la creatividad con varios trastornos mentales: Genio artístico y locura de Karl Jaspers.

  2. No sólo te creo sino que me consta.

    Gracias por las recomendaciones!

  3. copyright11:16 AM

    this entry (images + text) has been identically copied in the blog of joao chaves