The Role of Asking More Complex Questions in Creative Thinking

Tuval Raz, Roni Reiter-Palmon, Yoed N. Kenett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Question asking has been a critical tool for teaching and learning since the time of Socrates and is important in the creative problem-solving process. Yet, its role in creativity has insofar not been thoroughly explored. The current study assessed the role of question asking in the creative process. A correlational preregistered design was used to administer the alternative questions task (AQT) to explore its relation to cognitive and creative divergent thinking tasks. In the AQT—which is based on Torrance’s unusual questions task—participants are asked to generate creative and unusual questions for common objects. Responses are rated for their question level using the Bloom’s taxonomy, a widely accepted guideline in designing examination questions of differing levels of complexity, as well as their subjective and objective creativity. A significant positive relation between AQT question level and objective and subjective creativity scores was found: Higher, more complex questions were more creative, with the inverse effect for lower-level questions. We interpret these findings as supporting the hypothesis that higher question complexity is related and predictive of creative ability. A second study replicated and generalized our findings. Thus, our findings uniquely highlight the role of question asking, and especially question complexity, in creativity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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© 2023 American Psychological Association. All Rights Reserved.


  • Bloom taxonomy
  • creativity
  • divergent thinking
  • question asking


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