Impact of strength- versus problem-focus in the revision of creative ideas

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Description: Appreciative Inquiry (AI) and the Creative Problem Solving model (CPS) provide competing accounts of the optimal way to evaluate and revise existing ideas in novel ways. AI suggests strengths of an existing plan should be attended to and enhanced, while CPS emphasizes problem identification and mitigation. AI, with the support of some anecdotal evidence, has seen recent popularity in industry. In contrast, CPS has a longer record of empirical support. The current study used a case-based design to compare creative outcomes of the two models on a plan revision task using a between-subjects design. Undergraduate participants read curriculum plans while attending to the plan's strengths or deficiencies, revised the idea, and rated qualities of the original and revised plan. Results show that participants in the strength-focused condition produced more creative revisions than deficiency-focused participants. This pattern provides initial theoretical support for AI. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work