Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Design Creativity (ICDC 2020)

Year: 2020
Editor: Boujut, Jean-François ; Cascini, Gaetano ; Ahmed-Kristensen, Saeema ; Georgiev, Georgi V. ; Iivari, Netta
Author: Neroni, Maria A.; Crilly, Nathan 
Series: ICDC
Institution: Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, UK 
Page(s): 060-067
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.35199/ICDC.2020.08


Creative design behaviour can be inhibited by fixation and so reducing the risk of fixation is a focus of much design creativity research. Research in other fields indicates that an effective way of encouraging people to guard against a risk is to demonstrate that they, as individuals, are vulnerable to those risks. To study the effect of demonstrating individual vulnerability to fixation, we conducted an online experimental study using number and word tasks that are known to induce fixation. The first task was used to provide a ‘demonstrated vulnerability’ treatment (revealing the participants’ own fixated behaviour to them) and to provide the explanation for a comparable ‘asserted vulnerability’ treatment (warning participants about general fixation effects). In the subsequent creative task, the ‘demonstrated vulnerability’ group outperformed those in the ‘asserted vulnerability’ group and also those in a control group. 

Keywords: bias, demonstrated vulnerability,  fixation,  problem-solving,  controlled experiment


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