The right tool for the right task: structured techniques prove less effective on an ill-defined problem finding task
Hocking, I. and Vernon, D. 2017. The right tool for the right task: structured techniques prove less effective on an ill-defined problem finding task. Thinking Skills and Creativity. 26, pp. 84-91. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2017.08.001
|Hocking, I. and Vernon, D.
Problem finding represents an essential skill, with research showing that training using structured thinking techniques can benefit performance. We examined whether such benefits would remain when addressing a more ambiguous type of problem. 118 participants were recruited and randomly allocated to one of three groups (six men, six hats, control) and, after reading a synopsis of their allocated technique, restated a problem in as many ways as they could. Performance was measured in terms of the fluency, quality, flexibility and originality of responses. Results showed those using the six men technique exhibited greater fluency and flexibility in their responses. However, their restatements were also classified as lower quality compared to either the six hats or placebo control. The reduced impact of the six men technique might, we argue, be due to the ambiguity of the problem, exacerbated by inadequate training.
|Six good men; six thinking hats; ill-defined problem; problem finding
|Thinking Skills and Creativity
|26, pp. 84-91
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
|01 Sep 2017
|Publication process dates
|12 Sep 2017
|29 Aug 2017
|Accepted author manuscript
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