Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Divergent Thinking, Creativity, Test, Assessment, Technology, Online

Major Advisor

Jonathan Plucker

Associate Advisor

James Kaufman

Associate Advisor

Ronald Beghetto

Field of Study

Educational Psychology


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Divergent thinking (DT) tests are the most frequently used types of creativity assessment and have been administered in traditional paper and pencil format for more than a half century. With the prevalence of computer-based testing and increasing demands for large-scale, faster, and more flexible testing procedures, it is necessary to explore and test the usability of computer-based divergent thinking tests. Yet few studies have focused on the use of technologies in the assessment of creativity, including divergent thinking tests.

The purpose of the present study was to design and test the feasibility of an online divergent thinking (DT) test. The following three aims were addressed: (1) evaluate reliability evidence of DT test scores, (2) explore relationships between technology use and online DT performance, and (3) compare the online test with its paper version regarding DT scores. One hundred and sixty-four participants were recruited from the University of Connecticut and randomly assigned into three groups: online-basic (OB), online-advanced (OA), and paper-and-pencil (PP). Based on the results of reliability analysis, six DT scores were selected for analysis of variance and multiple regression modeling. The findings indicated that, despite of the possible link between technology use and online DT performance, no differences were found between different modes (online vs. paper) or different interfaces (simple tools vs. advanced tools) in terms of either DT scores or reliability evidence. Additionally, males were found to produce overall significantly higher originality scores than females did in the line meaning test and the real-world problem test. The implications of these findings are further discussed in the paper.