Sparking Creativity: Improving Electronic Brainstorming with Individual Cognitive Priming
Alan R Dennis, Randall K Minas, Akshay P Bhagwatwar
Much of human behavior involves subconscious cognition that can be manipulated through “priming,” the presentation of a stimulus designed to subconsciously implant a concept in working memory that alters subsequent behavior. Priming is a well-known phenomenon for individual behavior, but we do not know whether priming can be used to influence group behavior. We developed a Web-based computer game that was designed to improve creativity through priming. Participants were exposed to a priming game and then worked as members of a group using electronic brainstorming (EBS) to generate ideas on a creativity task. Our results show that when users played the game designed to improve performance, their groups generated significantly more ideas that were more creative than when they were exposed to neutral priming. The effect size was large, about as large as the effect size of EBS over verbal brainstorming.
Dennis, A.R., Minas, R.K., and Bhagwatwar, A. (2013), "Sparking Creativity: Improving Electronic Brainstorming with Individual Cognitive Priming," Journal of Management Information Systems (Special Issue), forthcoming.