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The effects of computer mediated interactivity on idea generation: an experimental investigation

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3 Author(s)
T. Shaw ; Buena Vista Coll., Storm Lake, IA, USA ; K. Arnason ; S. Belardo

The problems facing business leaders today are becoming more complex and unique. As such, managers can no longer rely on conventional well-established solution methods-the more unique the problem, the greater the need for creative solutions. Research suggests that the idea generation process can be facilitated by information technology. The paper focuses on the question of whether interactivity in its most elemental form (e.g., between a human and computer) is a contributing factor in the generation of divergent ideas. Interactivity, as defined by Williams, Rice, and Rogers (1988), has three components: control, exchange of roles, and mutual discourse. This experiment compared idea generation between three treatments of subjects with the same information, but the information was communicated with different degrees of interactivity. The information was a case about sheltered workshops, and the subjects were asked to develop ideas about possible jobs for the clients. Idea generation was measured by the fluency, flexibility, and originality of the subjects' responses, consistent with divergent thinking tests. The findings indicate a possible relationship between interactivity and creativity, but not with great significance. Interactivity in conjunction with other factors may have a more significant impact on ideation. These results help identify areas for future research

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 3 )