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The Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development is a service, research, and instructional center based in UGA's Mary Frances Early College of Education. Our work is dedicated to the nurturing and development of creative potential across the lifespan. The overarching goals of the Torrance Center are to investigate, evaluate, and implement techniques for enhancing creative thinking across domains of human enterprise and to increase creativity literacy in the local, state, national, and international community. The Torrance Center is renowned for its giftedness training programs for educators and the summer educational programs for children. The Torrance Center is closely affiliated with the Gifted and Creative Education (GCE) unit in the Department of Educational Psychology.

The Torrance Legacy

Biography of E. Paul Torrance

Photo of E. Paul Torrance

Known to many as the "Father of Creativity," E. Paul Torrance, a native Georgian and UGA Alumni Foundation Distinguished Professor Emeritus, was a pioneer in creativity research and education for more than 50 years.

He was a monumental figure who dedicated his lifelong research and teaching to the development of creative potential of individuals of all abilities and ages. Across his career, his major accomplishments included 1,871 publications: 88 books; 256 parts of books or cooperative volumes; 408 journal articles; 538 reports, manuals, tests, etc.; 162 articles in popular journals or magazines; 355 conference papers; and 64 forewords or prefaces.

His legacy is highlighted by the creation of the Future Problem Solving Program International, the Incubation Model of Teaching, and the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking. All programs, research, and teaching activities sponsored by the Torrance Center are built upon his legacy.

History of the Torrance Center

The Center was originally founded by Mary M. Frasier in the spring of 1984 as the Torrance Studies for Gifted, Creative, and Future Behaviors. At that time, the stated goals were:

  1. Research concerned with (1) developing giftedness, (2) identifying and nurturing creativity, and (3) educating for the future
  2. Professional training for leadership in gifted, creative, and future education
  3. Dissemination and retrieval of information about gifted, creative, and future studies

Torrance Center directors:

The Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking

Photo of TTCT

E. Paul Torrance first published the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) in 1966. Since that time, the TTCT has been renamed six times, roughly every 10 years, in 1974, 1984, 1990, 1998, 2008, and most recently in 2017.

The TTCT battery is composed of a verbal and figural component and is available in two forms, A and B. Each activity is based on research linking the required ability to creativity (Torrance, 1966, 1974). Therefore, the two components, when given as an entire battery, measure several different creative abilities. The verbal and figural tests of the TTCT are not simply measures of the same creative abilities or tendencies expressed in two different modalities. With both measures, the instructions are designed to motivate the respondents to give unusual, detailed responses.

The verbal component consists of five different types of activities: (1) ask-and-guess, (2) product improvement, (3) unusual uses, (4) unusual questions, and (5) just suppose. The stimulus for each task consists of a picture to which individuals respond in writing. The figural component consists of three different activities: (1) picture construction, (2) incomplete figures, and (3) repeated figures (Torrance, 1974, 2001a). All of these activities require respondents to draw additions to shapes and incomplete figures to give meaning to the shapes.

Developed in 1981, Thinking Creatively in Action and Movement (TCAM) is designed to measure fluency, originality, and imagination in children ages 3 to 8 through various movement exercises, across four activities. Thinking Creatively with Sounds and Words (Khatena & Torrance, 1998) is a battery of two tests of originality, Sounds and Images (Cunnington & Torrance, 1965) and Onomatopoeia and Images (Khatena, 1969).

The Abbreviated Torrance Test for Adults (ATTA) is a shortened version of the TTCT, Figural and Verbal forms. The ATTA consists of four norm-referenced abilities along with 15 criterion-referenced creativity indicators that when added together will give the creativity index.

For more information, visit the Scholastic Testing Service.

Learn more about TTCT training

Torrance Center Events

The Torrance Center hosts a variety of public events throughout the year, including lectures, workshops, conferences, and the annual Torrance Festival of Ideas.

Torrance Festival of Ideas

Torrance festival logo

This cultural festival is a platform where creative and innovative professionals across fields of human enterprise present their new exciting projects and innovative ideas to the general public. The creative spirit of Athens will be showcased in this open public engagement event.

Learn more about the Torrance Festival of Ideas

Torrance Lecture

Torrance lecture photo

The E. Paul Torrance Lecture, sponsored by the College of Education's Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development, annually brings scholars and creative artists to UGA to discuss issues related to creativity. It was established in 1985 to honor Torrance, a native Georgian and pioneer in research on the identification and development of creative potential.

Learn more about the Torrance Lecture

For more information on our annual events, contact Anna Abraham.

Torrance Conferences

The Torrance Center has run several conferences for the academic community as well as the local community.

Recent conferences:

  • International Creativity Collaborative: October 16-18, 2014
  • Math Mania Summer Camp: June 16-20, 2014
  • Global Minds: June 17-July 6, 2013
  • Camp Invention: June 14-18, 2010
  • Costa Rican Educational Adventure in Creativity Theory and Empiricism (CREATE): January 4-8, 2010

Upcoming Dates

Latest Developments

Photo from Torrance 100-year anniversary

Open Positions

  • Rolling call: Seeking innovative instructors for our educational programs (such as the Creative Scholars Program). To register your interest, email Desiree Sharpe.
  • Potential graduate students should email Anna Abraham to register their interest.
  • Internships (contact any member of the Torrance Center team)

Torrance Center in the News

Selected Presentations

  • Abraham, A. (Aug 2021). Creativity: The Case for Disease-Resistant Capacities of the Human Brain. Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (APA 2021) for the Division 40 (Society for Clinical Neuropsychology) [Symposium Speaker]
  • Abraham, A. (May 2021). Creativity and the Imagination in Learning. CREATE Centre, Sydney School of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, Australia (May 13, 2021) [Q & A Webinar]
  • Abraham, A. (May 2021). Adopting a neuroscientific perspective in the study of creativity. Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK [Keynote Talk]
  • Abraham, A. (Mar 2021). The Neurocognitive Mechanisms Underlying Creative Conceptual Expansion. The Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, TX [Guest Lecture]
  • Abraham, A. (Jan 2021). The Creative Brain. First Cognition Academy 2021 of the Max Planck School of Cognition, Germany, [Guest Lecture]

Selected Publications

  • Asquith, S. L., Wang, X., Quintana, D. S., & Abraham, A. (in press). Predictors of creativity in young people: Using frequentist and Bayesian approaches in estimating the importance of individual and contextual factors. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts.
  • Abraham, A. (2021). The Ingredients of the Creative Mind. The American Journal of Psychology, 134(1), 107–110.
  • Abraham, A. (Ed.). (2020). The Cambridge Handbook of the Imagination. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
  • Abraham A (2019). The neuropsychology of creativity. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 27, 71-76.
  • Abraham A, Asquith S, Ahmed H & Bourisly AK (2019). Comparing the efficacy of four brief inductions in boosting short-term creativity. Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, 3 (1), 85-93.

Professional Training

Photo of Torrance Summer Institute Training

The Torrance Center offers training on a variety of topics around creativity, giftedness, and talent development. Trainings are held periodically at UGA, but trainings held online (via Zoom) or on-site for your district, company, or organization can also be arranged.

TTCT Training

The Torrance Center at the College of Education offers training on the administration, scoring, and interpretation of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, Figural and Verbal. Efficient, effective, expert, and up-to-date training assures all motivated learners will receive a certificate of scoring reliability from the Torrance Center.

The training for the Figural requires about two days of active training. The verbal can be taught in one day to individuals who have mastered the figural scoring. All training requires that participants follow-up by scoring practice protocols to reach scoring reliability in the weeks after the training has concluded. Trainings are held periodically at UGA, but on-site trainings can also be arranged. While the majority of TTCT training participants are teachers, we welcome all participants from a variety of different backgrounds with interest in using the TTCTs in their fields. Examples include administrators, researchers, university faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, business managers, psychologists, and counselors. Additionally, participants from across the U.S. and internationally are welcomed and encouraged to participate. We have hosted thousands of participants, both here at UGA as well as on-site, from over 30 states and 25 countries so far.

Learn more about TTCT training

Torrance Center Summer Institute (TCSI)

Come and explore the principles of creative thinking as a framework for curriculum development, classroom teaching, and assessment. Designed around research-based strategies for integrating creativity into the classroom, the Torrance Center Summer Institute revolves around strands focusing on creativity, enhancing equity and diversity, and classroom strategies. Educators will learn practical strategies for enhancing their overall classroom instruction.

Learn more about the TCSI

Other Professional Training

The Torrance Center offers training and expertise on a variety of topics around creativity, giftedness, and talent development using our multidisciplinary network of scholars. In addition to the topics below, we offer flexible professional training tailored to fit the needs of your district, company, or organization.

  • Cultivating Classroom Critical and Creative Thinking Skills
  • Torrance Center Summer Institute for Teachers
  • Creativity for 21st Century Skills
  • Creativity in the UnCommon Core
  • Creative Strategies to Maximize Creative Potential
  • Diversity and Creativity
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Creativity and Leadership in the Workforce

For more information on the Professional Training Programs, contact Desiree Sharpe.

Education Programs

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Torrance Signature Programs

In 2020, the Torrance Center began a new series of educational programs that build on the legacy and research of E. Paul Torrance. He stated in 1965 that one of the precepts of progressive education is that "Education is a continuous reconstruction of living experience that goes beyond the four walls of the classroom." The Torrance Signature Programs are designed in this spirit to inspire and enhance creative, imaginative and problem solving skills across the lifespan.

Learn more about Torrance Signature Programs

Photo of student dissecting an animal

Legacy/Former Programs

Duke TIP

In 2009, the Torrance Center at the University of Georgia established a relationship with Duke University's Talent Identification Program (TIP), an organization dedicated to providing exciting educational opportunities for gifted middle and high school students. Prior to the Duke TIP closure announcement in October of 2020, the Torrance Center offered academic year programs and supported TIP Summer Studies Programs throughout the calendar year.

Future Problem Solving Program International

FPSPI is a dynamic international program involving thousands of students annually from around the world. Developed in 1974 by Torrance, Future Problem Solving (FPS) provides competitive and non-competitive components for today's curriculum via a six-step model which teaches critical and creative thinking, problem solving, and decision making. For more information, visit the FPSPI website.

Discovery/Challenge Programs

These popular public outreach programs were designed by E. Paul Torrance in the 1980s (and further developed after his retirement) for K-12 students held on Saturdays, onsite at a school or other location in Athens.

For more information on Education Programs, contact Desiree Sharpe.

Research

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Topics of Focus

Theme 1: Development and Training of Creativity across the Lifespan

  • Predictors of creativity in adolescence
  • Longitudinal investigations of creativity
  • Aging and creativity
  • Training creativity
  • Creative thinking strategies

Theme 2: Types of Creativity

  • Artistic creativity (visual, musical, kinesthetic, literary)
  • Scientific creativity
  • Social creativity

Theme 3: Psychology of Creativity

  • Personality and intelligence
  • Creative problem solving and reasoning
  • Creative Cognition
  • Motivation and Emotion
  • Perception and Action

Theme 4: Creativity and the Brain

  • Neuroimaging studies of creativity
  • EEG studies of creativity
  • Neuropsychological studies of creativity
  • Mental illness and creativity
  • Psychophysiology of creativity

Theme 5: Interdisciplinary Approaches

Outreach, Service, and Consultancy

Outreach

  • "Creative Problem Solving/Future Problem Solving" was presented to Habersham County Schools on January 4, 2019.
  • "Using Creative Strategies in the Workplace" was presented in the Athens-Clark County Library on November 14, 2018.
  • "Maximizing Creativity: Connecting Theory to Practice" was presented to the staff of Finnish Broadcasting Company Strömsö lecture on June 19, 2017.
  • The College of Education Camp DIVE Summer Exploratory Academy is an engaging and enriching summer program for students enrolled in Clarke County Schools grades K-8 that integrates the needs of students and the resources of UGA and the Athens community. In 2016, the Torrance Center and CLASE partnered to provide teaching and learning of food system dynamics using instructional conversation, the incubation model of teaching, and creative problem solving.

Academic Service

  • American Psychological Association
  • Georgia Professional Standards Commission: Task Force on Gifted Education
  • Georgia Department of Education: Gifted Education Committee
  • Georgia Association for Gifted Children Annual Conference
  • Innovation in Teaching Conference Steering Committee
  • Leverhulme Trust, UK
  • National Association for Gifted Children Annual Conference
  • National Science Foundation
  • Southern Oregon University Creativity Conference

Consultancy

With individual school districts as requested:

  • "Cultivating Classroom Critical and Creative Thinking Skills," Okefenokee Regional Educational Services Agency
  • "Administering, Scoring, and Interpreting the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking-Figural Forms A and B," Fairbanks North Star Borough School District

With individual universities as requested:

  • "TTCT-Figural Technical Assistance and Scoring for Maternal Outcomes and Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (MONEAD)," Emory University, Atlanta
  • "Creative Strategies, Creative Potential, Visiting Scholars Workshop: Creativity and the Future of the Workforce," University of Montana
  • "Administering, Scoring, and Interpreting the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking-Figural Forms A and B," Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Visiting Scholar Program

visiting scholars photo

Initiated in 1984 as part of the founding of the Torrance Center, the Visiting Scholar Program was developed to encourage research by national and international scholars in creativity. Individuals come to the Torrance Center to study or conduct creativity research and then return to their home institutions, forming a network of worldwide scholars.

The Torrance Center continues this legacy by hosting visiting scholars and teachers nationally and internationally with a variety of research interests. This international visiting scholar program provides research networking opportunities for participants to help them connect with faculty members and graduate students, expand their knowledge in creativity theories, and practice creativity in addition to general educational psychology. The visiting scholars can sit in on the courses offered in the gifted and creativity education program at UGA during their visiting period.

Past Visiting Scholars

  • Kwi-Ryun Kim (July 2018-July 2019), Hanlim University, South Korea
  • Linda Speranza (Jan. 4-11, 2018), Mesa Community College, Mesa, Arizona
  • Eun Jin Kang & Nam Hee Do (May 15-19, 2017), Korean Institute of Child Care and Education, South Korea.
  • Vaibhav Tyagi (Feb. 1-29, 2016), Plymouth University, Plymouth, England
  • Frank Laesche (Feb. 1-29, 2016), Plymouth University, Plymouth, England
  • Annita Kobes (Jan. 25-July 25, 2016), University of Groningen, Netherlands
  • Sebastian Schmidt (Feb. 2015-Feb. 2016), University of Music, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • Keeling Leahy (Aug. 2015-Aug. 2016), University of Limerick, Ireland
  • Elisabeth Morney (Aug. 1–Dec. 31, 2015), Vasa University and YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Network), Vasa, Finland
  • Young-Myung Song (March 1, 2013-Feb. 28, 2015), Center for Daegu Supporting Gifted Education, Daegu, South Korea
  • Fei Zi (Jan. 28, 2013-Jan. 28, 2014), Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, China
  • Lev Redin (Oct. 15-Nov. 15, 2013), Kazan National Research Technological University, Kazan, Russia
  • Ma Min (March 1-May 31, 2012), University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • Marisete Welter (May 21-Aug. 31, 2012), University of Kaiserslautern, Germany
  • Nga Giap Binh (Nov. 6-Nov. 29, 2011), University of Munich, Germany

For more information on the program and the application procedure, contact Desiree Sharpe.

Contact Us

Director: Anna Abraham

123 Aderhold Hall 110 Carlton Street Athens, Georgia 30602