Research Papers: Design Theory and Methodology

Object Reorientation and Creative Performance

[+] Author and Article Information
A.-M. Oltețeanu

Bremen Spatial Cognition Center,
University of Bremen,
Enrique-Schmidt-Straße 5,
Bremen 28359, Germany
e-mail: amoodu@informatik.uni-bremen.de

L. H. Shu

Department of Mechanical and
Industrial Engineering,
University of Toronto,
5 King's College Road,
Toronto, ON M5S 3G8, Canada
e-mail: shu@mie.utoronto.ca

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Design Theory and Methodology Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received February 23, 2017; final manuscript received September 6, 2017; published online January 16, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Irem Tumer.

J. Mech. Des 140(3), 031102 (Jan 16, 2018) (9 pages) Paper No: MD-17-1168; doi: 10.1115/1.4038264 History: Received February 23, 2017; Revised September 06, 2017

Functional fixedness refers to a cognitive bias that prevents people from using objects in new ways and more abstractly from perceiving problems in new ways. Supporting people in overcoming functional fixedness could improve creative problem solving and capacities for creative design. A study was conducted to detect whether a relationship exists between participants' tendency to reorient objects presented as stimuli in an alternative uses test (AUT) and their creativity, also measured using the Wallach Kogan (WaKo) pattern meanings test. The AUT measures creativity as a function of identifying alternative uses for traditional objects. The WaKo pattern meanings test detects the ability to see an abstract pattern as different possible objects or scenes. Also studied is whether Kruglanski's need for closure (NFC) scale, a psychological measure, can predict the ability to incorporate reorientation cues when identifying uses. This study revealed highly significant, high correlations between reorientation and several creativity measures, and a correlation between reorientation and the predictability subscale of the NFC scale. A qualitative exploration of participants' responses reveals further metrics that may be relevant to assessing creativity in the AUT.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
Topics: Creativity
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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

WaKo stimuli for pattern meanings test

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Change in viewpoint in response for WaKo2

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Reorientation in response for WaKo1



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