A bridge too far: conceptual distance and creative ideation
Hocking, I. and Vernon, D. 2017. A bridge too far: conceptual distance and creative ideation. Creativity: Theories, Research, Applications. 4 (2), pp. 333-352. https://doi.org/10.1515/ctra-2017-0017
|Authors||Hocking, I. and Vernon, D.|
Previous research has shown changing perspectives to be important in problem finding, with viewpoint-based techniques like the 'six thinking hats' and the 'six honest serving men' im- proving performance (e.g. Vernon & Hocking, 2014). To date, however, evidence for similar techniques based on conceptu- ally 'near' and 'far' cues, where conceptual distance is defined topologically in a semantic space, has shown mixed results. In a sample of 171 participants, we used two standard verbal problem scenarios together with a novel technique comprising six concepts that were either conceptually near or far from the problem scenario.
Participants in the experimental group used the concepts when generating solutions; controls were given empty placeholders instead of concepts. Performance was measured for fluency, quality, originality and flexibility. Apart from flexibility, participants did worse when using con- cepts of either type in comparison to controls. For flexibility, a borderline boost for far concepts was observed (Î·2 = .03, p = .06). We conclude that the cognitive load overhead intro- duced by our concept-cueing technique, or any other similar technique that attempts to shape the creative process, needs to be minimised through a variety of methods before we can better determine its usefulness and, thus, the role of concep- tual distance in creative problem solving.
|Journal||Creativity: Theories, Research, Applications|
|Journal citation||4 (2), pp. 333-352|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1515/ctra-2017-0017|
|Online||29 Dec 2017|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||01 Feb 2018|
|Accepted||03 Nov 2017|
|Accepted author manuscript|
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