This simple word test reveals how creative you are, scientists say

Creativity isn't the realm of a few, special talented people. It's something everyone is capable of, no matter what they do.

(CNN)Creativity is a uniquely human quality that's difficult to define and, perhaps, even harder to objectively measure.

Of course, that doesn't mean that scientists haven't tried, and a study published in June in the journal PNAS proposes a new and surprisingly simple test to gauge this ability.
It only takes a few minutes and involves thinking of 10 nouns that are unrelated to one another and as far apart in meaning as possible. Your score reveals how creative you are, said Jay Olson, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, who came up with the concept and is one of the study authors.
    "The task can be objectively and automatically scored, meaning that it does not need people to subjectively score the responses," he said. "It is also faster to complete than most other creativity measures; many people complete it in under two minutes."
      Curious? You can take the test here.
      The test specifically measures one component of creativity called divergent thinking, which is the ability to generate diverse solutions to open-ended problems. It doesn't measure another component -- what psychologists call convergent thinking, or solving problems considering various constraints.
      "The test measures divergent thinking and verbal creativity, which are important but limited aspects of overall creativity. Our task won't predict your creative culinary skills, but it will predict performance on various types of problem-solving, which suggests it is doing more than simply measuring vocabulary," Olson said.
        "Still, we'll need future research to assess how our task relates to other verbal abilities or intelligence more broadly."
        While the test is simple, the scoring is more complex and involves computing the average "semantic distance" (or relatedness) of the listed words, Olson said. To calculate this, the researchers used a database that infers the semantic distances of thousands of words based on their usage across billions of webpages.

        True measure of creativity?

        Performance on the Divergent Association Task (DAT), as the new test is called, correlated with two existing measures of creativity the study, which also included researchers from McGill University in Canada and the University of Melbourne in Australia, found:
        1) The Alternative Uses Task, which asks you to list novel uses of a common object -- such as a paper clip. Raters then judge the proposed uses based on their originality (how rare they are relative to other people's responses) or flexibility (how many different categories of uses are listed).