Creativity Research Journal
Numerous techniques have been proposed to assist problem solvers in the solution generation process. We empirically examined the effectiveness of a solution elicitation technique based on the presentation of problem objectives and also examined whether the technique was effective across individual differences in need for cognition (NC). We found that when two conflicting objectives were presented successively, more solutions, more categories of solutions, and more effective solutions were generated than when the same two objectives were presented simultaneously or not at all. However, the results indicated that effective solutions may be more efficiently generated by considering objectives simultaneously. Need for cognition was positively related to measures of divergent thinking, and the presentation of objectives was particularly effective as a solution elicitation aid for individuals with low NC. Implications for creative problem-solving research and practice are discussed.
Butler, Adam B.; Scherer, Lisa L.; and Reiter-Palmon, Roni, "Effects of Solution Elicitation Aids and Need for Cognition on the Generation of Solutions to Ill-Structured Problems" (2003). Psychology Faculty Publications. 42.