HOW MOOD FOSTERS CREATIVITY IN PRODUCT DESIGN? EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCES ON HUMOUR IMPACT DURING A CONCEPTUAL DESIGN SESSION IN A MASTER DEGREE CLASS
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Peter Childs, Stephen Green, Ashley Hall, Aran Dasan
Author: De Napoli, Luigi; Rizzuti, Sergio; Raco, Alessandro
Institution: University of Calabria, DIMEG, Italy
Section: Creativity and Innovation in Design and Engineering Education
Humour may improve performance in creative problem solving as demonstrated in various studies, although the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are still unclear. In this work the mechanisms of how humour facilitates creative problem solving during the conceptual phase of product design will be investigated. From the educational point of view all the activities that tend to reduce fixation during conceptual design are welcome, because students without specific experiences in work group and in generating original ideas reproduce always what is already known. In order to study the impact of humorous visual stimuli on creativity an experiment was performed. A sample of students of a MSc class in Management Engineering was divided into two sets and engaged to generate ideas concerning benches and shoe racks by Brainwriting (635 method) in two different ways: without stimulus and with stimulus. Three experts evaluated the concepts proposed in the generation phase and the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT) was used to measure creativity. A correlation analysis among the different assessments made by evaluators was performed. The interquartile distance method was used to identify and delete the extreme and abnormal values. Finally, a sensitivity analysis was used in order to demonstrate that even changing the TTCT criteria weights the experiment outcome does not vary. The results obtained in this study shows that the concepts obtained using Brainwriting combined with humorous visual stimulation reach better creativity scores than those obtained without stimulation. Lastly, some hypotheses are suggested in order to explain some seemingly contradictory outcomes.