THE IMPACT OF EXAMPLES ON CREATIVE DESIGN: EXPLAINING FIXATION AND STIMULATION EFFECTS
DS 68-2: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 2: Design Theory and Research Methodology, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
Editor: Culley, S.J.; Hicks, B.J.; McAloone, T.C.; Howard, T.J. & Reich, Y.
Author: Agogué, Marine; Kazakçi, Akin; Weil, Benoit; Cassotti, Mathieu
Section: Design Theory and Research Methodology
Converging evidences have indicated that the ability to generate creative ideas could be limited by recently activated knowledge such as examples of solutions. However, neuroimaging studies have recently demonstrated that exposure to examples did not systematically lead to fixation and could on the contrary have a stimulation effect on creativity. Our hypothesis is that there are two types of examples that C-K theory helps to characterize: (1) restrictive examples that do not change the definition or the attributes of the object, and (2) expansive examples that modify its identity by adding unexpected attributes. In two studies, we explored the impact of restrictive and expansive examples on a creative task. We then hypothesized that the introduction of an example during the task would provoke participants to propose solutions of a higher originality when the provided example was expansive. In contrast, when the provided example was restrictive, we hypothesized that the originality of the solutions would be reduced. Results confirmed that solutions proposed by the group exposed to restrictive example are less original than those given by groups exposed to expansive examples.