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Статья

Enhancement of Creativity: Semantic Priming Through Naming Objects Loosens Functional Fixedness within Idea Generation

Functional fixedness is related to excessive focusing on a specific functional property of an object. We assumed that the naming of other objects which possess the same functional property to a lesser extent than a given object can reduce the excessive focusing on this functional property for this object. It can help to loosen functional fixedness and improve individual creative performance. We tested the effectiveness of this method with 302 participants aged between 17 and 22 (256 female and 46 male). The study consisted of two experiments with 110 and 192 participants, respectively. Prior to performing a creative activity (story writing in Experiment 1 and thinking up unusual uses of a given object in Experiment 2), participants from different groups were asked to name objects which possess the main functional property of the given object to the same extent, to a lesser extent, and to a greater extent, respectively. In both phases of the study, we found a significant effect on the extent of the target property possession on originality. Results showed that participants named objects with the lesser manifestation of a target property outperformed their counterparts from other groups.