At TEDxTucson, Dr. George Land dropped a bombshell when he told his audience about the shocking result of a creativity test developed for NASA but subsequently used to test school children (see the full video below).
NASA had contacted Dr George Land and Beth Jarman to develop a highly specialized test that would give them the means to effectively measure the creative potential of NASA’s rocket scientists and engineers. The test turned out to be very successful for NASA’s purposes, but the scientists were left with a few questions: where does creativity come from? Are some people born with it or is it learned? Or does it come from our experience?
The scientists then gave the test to 1,600 children between the ages of 4 and 5. What they found shocked them.
This is a test that looks at the ability to come up with new, different and innovative ideas to problems. What percentage of those children do you think fell in the genius category of imagination?
A full 98 percent!
It gets more interesting
But this is not the real story. The scientists were so astonished that they decided to make it a longitudinal study and tested the children again five years later when they were ten years old.
The result? Only 30 percent of the children now fell in the genius category of imagination.
When the kids were tested at 15 years the figure had dropped to 12 percent!
What about us adults? How many of us are still in contact with our creative genius after years of schooling?
Sadly, only 2 percent.
And for those who question the consistency of these results — or think they may be isolated incidences — these results have actually been replicated more than a million times, reports Gavin Nascimento whose article first alerted me to this amazing study and its shocking implication: that the school system, our education, robs us of our creative genius.