Effect of Stimulus Modes and Associative Distance in Individual Creativity Support Systems

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Individual creativity support systems (ICSS) have relied primarily on word stimuli for improving idea generation and creativity. However, there is evidence to suggest that combining word stimuli with picture stimuli may be more effective. A theoretical model for this combination, based on the dual coding theory and the theory of associative creativity, is presented. A laboratory experiment was conducted in order to validate the model. Picture and word stimuli were used to elicit ideas in response to a specific task. These stimuli were either closely or remotely associated with the problem task. The number of ideas generated and creativity of those ideas were analyzed. While the theoretical model has not enough support, the results indicate that the use of picture stimuli outperforms words for generating creative ideas. The implications of the results are discussed with regard to the design of future ICSS and future research directions.



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