The Role Of Abstraction For Creative Idea Generation

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The Role Of Abstraction For Creative Idea Generation

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Title: The Role Of Abstraction For Creative Idea Generation
Author: Deuja, Ajeeta
Abstract: The present study examined the role of categories during a brainstorming task. Participants were asked to generate abstract categories before they brainstormed either in groups or individually in Study 1. It was expected that generating categories would be beneficial before ideation. However, it was found that category generation harmed the group ideation process. It was also found that they were not clustering as much to their ideas, which might have led to a decrease in productivity. Study 2 aimed to examine whether groups would benefit by brainstorming sequentially because of high clustering. It was found that sequential brainstorming helped increase productivity during the ideation process and increased clustering. Study 3 aimed to differentiate between self-generated categories (abstraction conditions) and categories that were generated by other participants (yoked conditions). It was predicted that the categories generated by other participants should be more beneficial because it would cognitively stimulate the participants to generate more ideas. Furthermore, it was also predicted that sequential brainstorming would be beneficial for both abstraction condition as well as yoked condition. We did find a benefit of sequential brainstorming, but failed to see an increase in productivity for the yoked conditions. However, this might have been due to the quality of the categories that were presented to the yoked conditions. Because these categories were generated by other participants, they might have not tapped into their semantic structure.
Date: 2012-04-11

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