The effects of elaboration in creativity tests as it pertains to overall scores and how it might prevent a person from thinking of creative ideas during the early stages of brainstorming and idea generation

Caitlin Dippo, Barry Kudrowitz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous studies have found that the first few ideas we think of for a given prompt are likely to be less original than the later ideas. In this study, 460 participants were given the Alternative Uses Test (AUT) where they were asked to list alternative uses for a paperclip, creating a database of 235 unique answers, each having a relative occurrence rate in that pool. It was found that later responses were significantly more novel than early responses and on average the originality of responses exponentially increased with quantity. A closer look at this data reveals that a person is likely to have a lower overall originality score if he or she has more elaborate responses. 89 of these participants were also given the Abbreviated Torrance Test For Adults (ATTA) and the data from both tests was used to study relationships between elaboration, fluency, and originality. The data from the AUT reveals a strong negative correlation between an individual's average number of words per response and his or her average originality score. It is hypothesized that people who spend more time writing multiple-word responses have less time to generate many different ideas thus hindering their ability to reach the novel ideas. Similarly, the ATTA reveals that after two extraneous details, elaboration on a drawing will negatively impact fluency and originality scores. This is not to say that elaborate ideas cannot be original, but rather that in time-limited situations, elaboration may hinder the production of original ideas. In applying this to real world problem solving and idea generation, it is suggested that people may prevent themselves from finding creative solutions if too much time is spent on discussing the first few suggested ideas from a brainstorming session. It is suggested that a more effective brainstorming session will delay discussion until a significant number of ideas are generated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication27th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791857175
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
EventASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2015 - Boston, United States
Duration: Aug 2 2015Aug 5 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference
Volume7

Other

OtherASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2015
CountryUnited States
CityBoston
Period8/2/158/5/15

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