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.
Object Reorientation and Creative Performance
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.
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Oltețeanu, A., and Shu, L. H. (January 16, 2018). "Object Reorientation and Creative Performance." ASME. J. Mech. Des. March 2018; 140(3): 031102. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4038264
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