Chapter

Cognitive Stimulation and Interference in Idea-Generating Groups

Bernard A. Nijstad, Michael Diehl and Wolfgang Stroebe

in Group Creativity

Published in print September 2003 | ISBN: 9780195147308
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199893720 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195147308.003.0007
Cognitive Stimulation and Interference in Idea-Generating Groups

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This chapter builds on some 15 years of research on group idea generation carried out at the University of Tübingen, Germany, and Utrecht University, The Netherlands. During these years, three questions have been the primary focus of attention: How can the productivity loss of brainstorming groups be explained? How can productivity of these groups be improved? Why do people think that group brainstorming is more effective than individual brainstorming, whereas the opposite is true? However, the research program has increasingly shifted toward a cognitive approach. The chapter is organized as follows. The first section describes some early research pertaining to the productivity loss of groups, possibilities for improving group performance, and the illusory belief that group brainstorming is more effective than individual brainstorming. It then outlines a cognitive approach to these issues and argues that earlier findings can be interpreted as either cognitive interference or cognitive stimulation effects. The third section discusses recent studies aimed at testing these ideas. The final section draws some conclusions and suggests practical implications and future directions for research.

Keywords: cognitive stimulation; idea-generating; brainstorming

Chapter.  11089 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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