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RESEARCH PAPERS

Impact of Mental Iteration on Concept Generation

[+] Author and Article Information
Pawat Chusilp

Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Southern California, 3650 McClintock Avenue, OHE-430, Los Angeles, CA 90089-1453

Yan Jin1

Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Southern California, 3650 McClintock Avenue, OHE-430, Los Angeles, CA 90089-1453yjin@usc.edu

1

To whom correspondence should be addressed.

J. Mech. Des 128(1), 14-25 (Apr 06, 2005) (12 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2118707 History: Received October 12, 2004; Revised April 06, 2005

Mental iteration in conceptual design involves repetition of cognitive activities when designers perceive discrepancies of the desired state and current state of design. Although it is believed that mental iteration has significant impact on design process and design results, little proof has been developed and our current understanding of mental iteration is still limited. This paper presents a preliminary study of impact of mental iteration on performance of designers in conceptual design. Mental iteration is modeled as various iterative loops of cognitive activities. An experiment was carried out to study the mental iteration behavior in conceptual design. The analysis of correlation was performed to identify significant associations between design metrics and the number and frequency of different types of iterations. The results provide evidence that mental iteration has not only positive but also negative impact on design performance and different types of iteration yield different impacts.

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Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

A cognitive activity model of conceptual design

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Figure 2

Design sketch of working principles

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Figure 3

Design sketch of the finished idea

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Figure 4

Genealogy tree for function 1—propulsion

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Figure 5

Genealogy tree for function 2—control direction

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Figure 6

Genealogy tree for function 3—brake

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Figure 7

An example of a scatter plot

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