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The Effect of Divergent Thinking and Group Composition on Idea Generation In Brainwriting

Hamit Coşkun
2005; 20(55):25-42

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The aim of the current study was to assess the influence of convergent and divergent tasks on the idea generation performance. The participants were randomly instructed to generate as many words as they could come up with on the either similarities (convergent task) or differences (divergent task) for the given dual words within the 10 minutes and then brainstormed as dyads in either nominal (nonsharing) and interactive (sharing) condition in a brainwriting paradigm (Paulus & Yang, 2000). All participants as dyads were randomly assigned to either divergent-divergent, divergent-convergent, or convergent-convergent thinking conditions. The dyads in the divergent thinking condition generated more ideas than those in the convergent and mixed thinking conditions. Interactive dyads had also higher number of ideas than nominal ones. These findings were discussed in the lights of the cognitive stimulation and matching perspectives.

Keywords: Convergent and divergent thinking, cognitive stimulation, matching, brainstorming