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Ellis Paul Torrance

Ellis Paul Torrance

Ellis Paul Torrance (October 8, 1915 [1] – July 12, 2003) was an American psychologist from Milledgeville, Georgia .

After completing his undergraduate degree at Mercer University , he obtained a Master’s degree at the University of Minnesota and a PhD from the University of Michigan . His teaching career spanned from 1957 to 1984. First, he was educated at the University of Minnesota and later at the University of Georgia , where he became professor of Educational Psychology in 1966.

Torrance is best known for his research in creativity . His major accomplishments include 1,871 publications: 88 books; 256 shares of books or cooperative volumes; 408 newspaper articles; 538 reports, manuals, tests, etc .; 162 articles in popular journals or magazines; 355 conference papers; and 64 forewords or prefaces. [2] He also created the International Problem Solving Program , the Incubation Curriculum Model, and the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking.

Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT)

Main article: Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking

Threshold Hypothesis

There are two distinct processes in the psychological process (or the joint hypothesis) or represent distinct mental processes (the disjoint hypothesis).

Evidence attempts to look at correlations between intelligence and creativity from the 1950s onwards, by authors such as Barron, Guilford or Wallach and Kogan, consistently suggested that these two concepts were relatively small. Some researchers believe that creativity is the outcome of the same cognitive processes as intelligence, and that it is only judged by its consequences, ie: when the outcome of cognitive processes happens to produce something novel, a view which Perkins has termed the “nothing special” hypothesis.

A very popular model is expected to be “the threshold hypothesis”, proposed by Torrance, which holds that, in a general sample, there will be a positive correlation between low creativity and intelligence scores, a correlation will not be found with higher scores. Research into the threshold hypothesis, however, has produced mixed results ranging from enthusiastic support to refutation and rejection.


In 1984, the University of Georgia established the Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development.

A special issue which? ] of Creativity Research Journal (guest edited by James C. Kaufman and John Baer) was dedicated to his honor and memory. The National Association for Gifted Children has written a special book dedicated to Torrance in one of its focus interest groups.

See also

  • Creative Education Foundation
  • John Curtis Gowan


  • Torrance, EP (1974). Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking . Scholastic Testing Service, Inc.
  • Millar, GW (2007). E. Paul Torrance, “The Creativity Man”: an Authorized Biography . ISBN  1-56750-165-6 .


  1. Jump up^ “E. Paul Torrance Collection at Georgia College” . Archived from the original on 2014-01-03.
  2. Jump up^ Spilman, Karen (2002). E. Paul Torrance Papers, 1957-1967 . The University of MinnesotaArchives.