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The Effects of Associative Exercises on The Idea Generation during Brainstorming

Hamit Coşkun
2009; 24(64):34-44

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In the literature different ideas coming from members in brainstorming groups have been suggested to generate cognitive stimulation, explained from the perspective of associate memory (Paulus, 2000). However, unlike the cognitive stimulation perspective, the associative memory approach suggests that closely linked ideas or associations can lead to a higher brainstorming performance than different or distant ones (Collins & Loftus, 1975). To test these competing approaches, in Experiment I the effect of concreteness (concrete vs. abstract) and the type of associations (close and distant); in Experiment II that of thinking style (convergent and divergent) and the type of associations; in Experiment III that of the degree of associations (close, moderate, and distant) and thinking style, and in Experiment IV that of problem type and the type of associations in groups were investigated on the brain- storming performance. The fndings indicated that closely linked word associations led to the generation of more ideas than their counterparts. Divergent thinking with closely linked word associations was also found to produce the highest brainstorming performance. These fndings often supported the associative memory approach.

Keywords: Brainstorming, cognitive stimulation, close and distant, concrete words, associative memory approach