Applying structured techniques in a problem construction task

Hocking, I. and Vernon, D. (2015) Applying structured techniques in a problem construction task. In: American Psychological Association Annual Convention, 6th-9th August, 2015, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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Research showing that active engagement in problem construction can improve creativity (Karpova et al., 2011) led us to examine whether problem construction ability could be facilitated using a structured thinking technique (e.g., six thinking hats, six good men). These techniques require the participant to either adopt multiple perspectives, incorporating a range of specific questions, or utilise a range of simple open ended questions. In Experiment 1 we randomly allocated 100 participants to groups utilising the six hats technique, the six men, or a no-intervention control group, and had them restate a given problem to which we measured the fluency, quality and originality of their responses. Results showed that both six hats and six men techniques produced greater fluency relative to controls, with a more robust effect for those using the six men. In terms of originality, both techniques proved beneficial relative to controls, with a more robust effect from those using the six hats. However, there was no clear difference in performance between the two structured techniques. This may be because we used an explicit problem statement (i.e., I’m in a new city and need dinner) that clearly identified the issue or it may simply be that providing an individual with a ‘technique’ encouraged them to think more creatively and as such the technique itself is little more than a placebo relative to those that receive no intervention. Hence, Experiment 2 aimed to directly compare the effects of the techniques on both clear and ambiguous problems while also incorporating a placebo condition. Results from experiment 2 are pending and will be reported at the conference.

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
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Depositing User: Dr Ian Hocking
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2015 12:22
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2015 12:22

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