0
Research Papers

A Study of Design Fixation, Its Mitigation and Perception in Engineering Design Faculty

[+] Author and Article Information
J. S. Linsey

Mechanical Engineering Department, Texas A&M University, 224 Engin. Physics, 3123 TAMU College Station, TX 77843jlinsey@tamu.edu

I. Tseng

Mechanical Engineering Department, Carnegie Mellon, Scaife Hall 214, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213iht@andrew.cmu.edu

K. Fu

Mechanical Engineering Department, Carnegie Mellon, Scaife Hall 214, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213katherine.fu@gmail.com

J. Cagan

Mechanical Engineering Department, Carnegie Mellon, Scaife Hall 214, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213cagan@tamu.edu

K. L. Wood

Mechanical Engineering Department,The University of Texas at Austinwood@utexas.edu

C. Schunn

Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburg, LRDC 821, 3939 O'Hara St., Pittsburgh, PA 15260schunn@pitt.edu

The data are not normally distributed but ANOVA is robust for departures from normality. The remaining assumptions for ANOVA are met. To confirm the ANOVA results, a Kruskal–Wallis ANOVA is also completed on the data (H=5.7,p<0.06).

J. Mech. Des 132(4), 041003 (Apr 13, 2010) (12 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4001110 History: Received June 19, 2009; Revised January 24, 2010; Published April 13, 2010; Online April 13, 2010

The bridge between engineering design and cognitive science research is critical to understand the effectiveness of design methods as implemented by human designers. The study reported in this paper evaluates the effects of design fixation in a group of engineering design faculty, and also provides evidence for approaches to overcome design fixation. Three conditions are compared, a control, a fixation group whom were provided with an example solution, and a defixation group whom were also given materials to mitigate their design fixation. Measures include indicators of design fixation and participant perceptions. The study demonstrates that the engineering design faculty show statistically significant evidence of design fixation, but only partially perceive its effects. This study also indicates that design fixation can be mitigated. The group of participants in this study, due to their background in engineering design research and experience with student design teams, was expected to have more accurate perceptions or awareness of design fixation than the typical participant. Understanding the incongruities between participant perceptions and quantitative design outcomes are particularly of interest to researchers of design methods. For this study, clear evidence exists that designers, even those that study and teach design on a regular basis, do not know when they are being influenced or fixated by misleading or poor information.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topics: Design
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.

References

Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

Design problem description

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2

Example solution provided to the participants in the fixation group

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 3

Defixation materials

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 4

Example solution provided to participants

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 10

The defixation group produced more designs powered by a gas engine than individuals in the other conditions. The error bars are ±1 standard error.

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 11

The defixation group used, on average, more energy sources in total than participants in the other two groups. Each error bar is ±1 standard error.

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 12

All groups used analogies in developing solutions to the design problem. The defixation group, on average, employed slightly more analogies during ideation. The error bars are ±1 standard error.

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 13

Participants believe they were influenced by the provided example solution

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 14

Participants in the fixation and the defixation group felt the example solution had a positive influence or at least were unsure that the influence was positive or not

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 15

Participants were undecided if the example solution negatively influenced them

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 9

The fixation group used, on average, a higher percentage of the features from the example solution in their concepts. Each error bar is ±1 standard error.

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 8

The fixation group repeated, on average, features from the example solution more often than the other two groups. Each error bar is ±1 standard error.

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 7

The fixation group produced fewer ideas, on average, than either the control group or the defixation group. Each error bar is ±1 standard error.

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 6

A set of solutions showing a high degree of fixation on the provided example solution

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 5

A set of solutions showing a low degree of fixation on the provided example solution

Tables

Errata

Discussions

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In