Jilly: The Get Creative Feel Good Test

Would you take part in an academic study called The Get Creative Feel Good Test?

The payoff is that all participants receive a personalized Feel Good Formula based on their responses, intended to boost their creative habits. It’s open to anyone, anywhere in the world, provided they are over 18 years old.

The cost of entry is to answer a ten-minute online questionnaire.

The test is part of a study undertaken by the BBC, the Open University, and University College London, to explore how participation in creative activities can manage mood and boost wellbeing. All data is collected and stored on an anonymous basis. I don’t usually sign up to online questionnaires, but I took part in this one.

If you’re curious, you can take the test and get your tailored formula here.

I believe the Feel Good Formula tailored recommendations have been developed using the information given by almost 500,000 participants in the precursor to this experiment—last year’s Great British Creativity Test. The results of that study will be revealed this week by Dr. Daisy Fancourt, senior research fellow at University College London.

In my case Dr. Fancourt will be preaching to the choir—I already believe that creative activities are beneficial to our wellbeing—but I’ll be interested to learn more specifically how the researchers think the connection works.

I won’t spoil the results, but I was interested to see my own Feel Good Formula. Most of my recommendations seemed like common sense, but I had not thought about the different aspects of my life that are influenced by my creative activities, or that some (many) people might find a different balance and enjoy different benefits. My main takeaway so far is that the ‘tailored’ recommendation is not a gimmick (cynical of me, but I thought it might have been).

The test is part of the UK Get Creative Festival 2019, a week-long celebration of creativity aimed at boosting participation and offering us a chance to have a go at something new. It involves more than 1,500 events and includes all kinds of activity—bell ringing, quilting, book folding, you name it, as well as obvious ones like writing, drawing, painting and dancing. The festival is a collaboration between the BBC, various national and regional arts organizations, and community groups.

If you’d like to know more about the Get Creative Festival , check out the link here.

Did you take the test? If so, what did you think?

If not, what benefits do you think creative activities of any kind—like Michaeline’s ukulele playing, Elizabeth’s quilting or Jeanne’s flower photography, not just reading and writing—bring to you?

7 thoughts on “Jilly: The Get Creative Feel Good Test

  1. Oh, this does sound like fun! Are you going to do a “reveal” post in two weeks, or will you spoil us with your results later this week here in the comments? I think I’m going to take it — I should be doing a dozen other things, but the procrastination is strong with this one.

    • Hmmm. I feel like I’m a split personality now. A lot of the answers I provided are very contradictory — for example, I can be very nervous and quite a worry-wort, but when a tense situation comes along, I usually calm down and handle it. I tend to react more to imaginary scenarios than real ones . . . .

      They suggested that since I like photography, I might try drawing things on the computer. But honestly, I have enough hobbies to be very satisfied right now. I just have to find the time and energy to indulge in all of them!

      Thought-provoking test, though, and worth trying out, I think.

      • That’s what I thought. Worth trying out, and worth contributing data.

        I’ll keep an eye out for the reveal of the results from last year’s test. Fingers crossed they’ll offer us some interesting insights from those half a million guinea pigs 🙂

  2. I adore these kinds of tests, so you knew I would be in.

    It says my creative coping style is Seeking Inspiration in New Places. Very true. My husband once compared me to Johnny Five, the robot in Short Circuit that’s an input junkie. I’ve recently started making time to visit art exhibitions. There are half a dozen art museums within a three-hour drive of my home (and one right here in town). I just need to prioritize visiting them.

    • Yep, I knew you’d be in ;-). So it told you something you knew already, but hopefully (maybe?) it nudged you to make time to visit those art museums.

  3. Well, that was fun. First thing that happened was I had to use a currency converter to figure out what my income was per week. Homework! Also, I answered the questions as I am now, which is largely immobile, and which I hope will change drastically after my hip replacement. So that had to skew results.

    The assessment was dead on when it said I use creative endeavors to cope with difficult things. That would be a yes, since I started writing after 9/11 to ease depression. The part I had the most fun with was that I said that I “sang at home or in groups.” And lately, I’ve been singing around the house, in the shower, doing the dishes, like that. So the assessment thought I should join a virtual choir. In your dreams, testers!

    I hope all of us Americans taking the test didn’t throw off the results for the UK. I enjoyed checking off the ethnic box as “Irish, Scots, or other.” (I think that was it. Big “other” there!)

    • The rules clearly said that there were no restrictions other than the age limit, so I’m pretty sure they were hoping for at least some contributors from outside the UK. As you say, big “other”, though 😉 . I was a little disconcerted that they asked financial questions, but when I thought more about it, I decided it was relevant.

      Seems as though the assessments were better than the recommendations. Mine said that people who like to read and write fiction often also derive enjoyment from making films or video. Yeah, no, though I suppose the intention is good–even if you make time for creativity, it’s not a bad idea to try something different. Maybe I could try writing a script (though I think I’d miss the luxury of internal monologue). I’d love to have a go at graphic novels one day, but if that day ever comes I will not be the one art directing the project. At the moment I’m working with a couple of designers on my book cover and my website makeover; briefing people whose skills are predominantly visual and technical is providing me with a whole raft of new creative challenges. If I can get the hang of that, perhaps next I should have a go at an audiobook.

      Many years ago, in my early corporate days, I was given a course of sessions with a personal development coach (still not quite sure why, but it was great). Among other things, she helped me write a personal mission statement. I/we came up with “to enjoy life and seek challenges.” Thirty years later, I still like it!

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