Category Assignment And Relatedness In The Group Ideation Process

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Category Assignment And Relatedness In The Group Ideation Process

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Title: Category Assignment And Relatedness In The Group Ideation Process
Author: Baruah, Jonali
Abstract: Although many studies have investigated the effects of task related diversity on group performance, little empirical attention has been paid to the effect of the degree of relatedness of these tasks on the group ideation process. The present study provided a comprehensive test of the effects of task (category) assignment and relatedness on creativity of the interactive and the nominal groups in electronic brainstorming paradigm. A major area that has not been explored in the brainstorming literature is how groups perform when each member is assigned a unique category compared with having all the members jointly assigned with common categories. The current study investigated whether the assignment of categories that are high or low in relatedness will lead to higher quantity, flexibility, originality, clustering of the ideas and perceived enjoyment in an electronic brainstorming task. The participants were assigned with categories related to a broader problem. The assigned categories were either high or low in their degree of relatedness. 300 undergraduate students from the introduction to psychology classes at the University of Texas at Arlington participated in the experiment. The design was a 2(category relatedness) x 2(category assignment) x 2(type of group) between groups design. The interactive groups surveyed fewer categories and exhibited high clustering compared to the nominal groups. Moreover, the clustering exhibited by interactive groups was magnified by the joint assignment condition. The groups jointly assigned with three categories generated higher quantity of ideas, explored more categories and exhibited higher clustering than the groups who were assigned with individual categories. The post-experimental affect questionnaire revealed that the interactive groups jointly assigned with three categories enjoyed the brainstorming session the most. In terms of category relatedness, groups assigned with categories of low relatedness surveyed more categories than those assigned with categories of high relatedness. The results of this study enhance our understanding of the productivity and the divergent and convergent tendencies of groups related to different types of task assignment and have implications for models of the group creative process (Nijstad & Stroebe, 2006; Paulus & Brown, 2007).
Date: 2008-09-17
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