A matter of perspective: the impact of near and far conceptual distance on creative problem solving

Hocking, I. and Vernon, D. (2016) A matter of perspective: the impact of near and far conceptual distance on creative problem solving. In: BPS Cognitive Psychology Section Conference, 31st August - 2nd September, 2016, Barcelona, Spain.

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Previous research has shown that creating and evaluating viewpoints (e.g. ‘the positives of’, ‘feelings towards’) is an important part of the first stage of the creative problem solving process, problem finding. Viewpoint-based techniques like the 'six thinking hats' and the 'six honest serving men' have been shown to improve problem finding performance. So far, studies looking at providing problem-relevant ‘concepts’ have shown mixed results. For instance, while there is an advantage of far over close concepts for novelty, quality, and flexibility of ideation, there is little association between far analogies and creative leaps. We looked at conceptual distance in 200 students using two standard problem scenarios (ʽI am in a new city and need dinnerʼ and ʽThere are mice in my houseʼ) and provided six cue words that were either conceptually near (high semantic relationship) or far (low semantic relationship) from the problem scenario. A control condition used six ʽemptyʼ placeholders. Preliminary results suggest differences in fluency and quality for each problem scenario, but, interestingly, no clear effect of conceptual distance. Analysis of flexibility and originality are pending.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0309 Consciousness. Cognition > BF0408 Creative ability
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology
Depositing User: Dr Ian Hocking
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2016 14:23
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2016 14:23
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/14767

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