A research group is creating an iPhone app dedicated to improving creativity and boosting users' imaginations. The group has been given a grant by the Imagination Institute to study creativity and develop the app.

At this point in the evolution of smartphone culture, there seems to be an app for everything. All of the minutia of our daily routines seems to be presently covered by apps. There are apps for waking up in the morning and falling asleep at night, apps for reminding us of our grocery lists, providing us with coupons for saving on those groceries and apps telling us how many calories are in the food we cooked with them.

However, what about the big picture things, the more elusive aspects of human existence, such as our creativity and imagination? Now, a research team has been given the go ahead to study those topics and create an app designed specifically for boosting and enhancing those qualities.

Dr. Sophie von Stumm, from Goldsmiths, University of London, is head of the two-year project being funded by the Imagination Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and supported by the John Templeton Foundation.

Von Stumm explained the goal of the project: "We will develop new psychometric tests to assess imagination, and then validate them in several studies. Most importantly, however, we will find ways to improve imagination that everybody can use. We will develop an iPhone application that will be freely available with exercises and tips for enhancing imagination. This will be the greatest contribution of our project to society, because imagination is at the core of our everyday thinking and behavior."

One of the issues confronting the group is how exactly to measure imagination and creativity. The plan is to study the components that make up the imaginative and creative thought process and develop a measurement tool referred to as the "Imagination Quotient," or "imQ." The group plans to conduct various tests and studies using identical twins to determine what effect environment and genetics have on our imQs and will also analyze other factors, such as how imagination correlates to intelligence.

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Tags: iOS app iPhone iPad