Thinking hats and good men: structured techniques in a problem finding task

Hocking, I. and Vernon, D. (2014) Thinking hats and good men: structured techniques in a problem finding task. In: BPS Cognitive Psychology Section Conference, 1st-3rd September, 2015, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.

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Problem finding can often be the first step in problem solving, and research has suggested that engaging in problem finding can facilitate creativity and potentially lead to a more beneficial outcome. Here we examine and compare two techniques that may be used to help scaffold problem finding ability: the six thinking hats (STH) and the six good men (SGM). These techniques can require the participant to either adopt multiple perspectives, incorporating a series of specific questions, or utilise a range of simple open ended questions. We had 100 participants take part in an on-line study, which involved presenting them with an ambiguous problem and requiring them to restate the problem in as many different ways as they could within a 3-mintue time frame. Participants were randomly allocated to the STM, the SGM or a no-intervention control group, and performance was measured in terms of the fluency, quality and originality of the responses. Results showed that both techniques produced greater fluency relative to controls, with a more robust effect for those using the SGM. In terms of originality, again both techniques proved beneficial relative to controls, with a more robust effect from those using the STH. Hence, both techniques benefited performance, though in slightly distinct ways. These results are discussed in terms of the potential benefits obtained by explicitly scaffolding thinking.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0076.5 Psychology research
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology
Depositing User: Dr Ian Hocking
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2015 12:19
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2015 12:19

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00