Object reorientation and creative performance

[+] Author and Article Information
Ana-Maria Olteteanu

Bremen Spatial Cognition Center, University of Bremen, Enrique-Schmidt-Str. 5, 28359 Bremen, Germany

L.H. Shu

Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, 5 King's College Road, Toronto, ON, M5S 3G8, Canada

1Corresponding author.

ASME 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, 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 and their creativity, also measured using the Wallach Kogan pattern meanings test. The Alternative Uses Test measures creativity as a function of identifying alternative uses for traditional objects. The Wallach Kogan 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 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 Need for Closure scale. A qualitative exploration of participants' responses reveals further metrics that may be relevant to assessing creativity in the Alternative Uses Test.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME; use license CC-BY 4.0
Topics: Creativity , Design
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