Historiometry as Extension of the Consensual Assessment Technique: A Comment on Kaufman and Baer (2012)

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Abstract

Comments on an article by J. C. Kaufman & J. Baer (see record 2012-04002-010). The article by Kaufman and Baer reviewed the validity of different uses of the Consensual Assessment Technique (CAT), a powerful research tool for investigating the factors related to the creative process in children and adults. The authors rightly concluded that CAT data retain the highest level of validity and reliability when experts judge the creative works of experimental participants. Because expert raters can sometimes represent limited commodities, Kaufman and Baer also concluded that quasi-experts and nonexperts could be employed as judges in such designs, so long as the judges were given clear instructions on the specific aspects that must be rated. The advantage to using nonexpert raters is obvious as one can recruit would-be raters from an undergraduate participant pool at a low cost, rather than recruit experts in several domains at a higher cost. However, there is an additional, overlooked advantage in the declaration that nonexpert and quasi-expert raters provide valid consensual assessments. If Kaufman and Baer were accurate in their assertion that novices and quasi-experts can serve as raters in consensual assessment designs, then one must also accept that historiometric measurements of aesthetic success are valid indicators of creativity so long as they fit the criteria of laboratory consensual assessments. This article outlines the theoretical considerations and implications of that logical extension. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)

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