A.J. de Vet
C.K.W. de Dreu
- The influence of articulation, self-monitoring ability, and sensitivity to others on creativity
- European Journal of Social Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 37 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Although it is often recommended to think aloud to solve problems and to become more creative, cognitive and social psychological research suggests thinking aloud may actually produce less creative ideas than thinking in silence. The results of two experiments indeed showed that thinking aloud hinders creativity—although people produced the same amount of new uses for an object, these were judged to be less original in the thinking aloud condition. Experiment 2 further showed that this effect was particularly pronounced for individuals with high sensitivity to what other's think of them and low ability to adapt to these expectations. From this, we conclude that the felt presence of an actual or implied audience when thinking aloud, reduces creative idea generation especially among those having difficulty adapting to others. Implications for creativity research, and for promoting creativity in applied settings such as organizational teams are discussed.
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