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Article

The roles of rarity and organization of stimulus material in divergent thinking

Thinking Skills and Creativity. 2016. Vol. 22. P. 14-21.

This study examines the effects of rarity and organization of stimulus material on divergent thinking. Divergent thinking was assessed by the Unusual Uses test, in which participants had to generate as many uses as possible for a wooden ruler. Participants were primed with either rare or common ideas which were presented either in three consequent sets, or simultaneously in one set. We found a significant effect of rarity on originality. With regard to originality, participants primed with rare stimuli significantly outperformed their counterparts primed with common stimuli. We also found a significant effect of organization on fluency. With regard to this parameter, participants primed with the distributed stimulus set significantly outperformed their counterparts primed with the simultaneous set. Finally, we found marginally significant interactive effect of rarity and organization on fluency and originality. Participants who were primed with rare stimuli in distributed sets tended to obtain higher fluency and originality scores than participants in other groups.