Nikola Spadina wrote an article titled Primed to fail: How cognitive biases undermine your creativity (April 20, 2021).
« Innovation demands “out of the box” thinking. But have we ever stopped to think about how the box — or, more precisely, how it’s presented — might be the problem making our ideas less original? »
« The way in which problems are communicated to us impacts our ability to solve them. »
« when creative problems are presented with visual aids, these stimuli fixate our thinking and make our ideas less original by increasing conformity to the primer »
« The opposite, however, appears to be the case with verbal stimuli. While our semantic associations are still activated, our thinking behaves differently: it fixates less quickly, and stays a little more fuzzy… Those presented with the verbal (name only) primer tended to generate more divergent and uncommon uses than those presented with a visual primer. »
« when primed visually, participants showed a bias towards ‘top-down’ processing in their idea generation … Top-down processing is when perception begins with the most general features before moving towards the specific. As we begin to take in information, our initial impressions are based on previous experiences and expectations. This type of processing can be useful when we are looking for patterns in our environment, but can hinder our ability to perceive things in new and different ways… When generating ideas and using resources in novel ways, top-down processing activates concepts associated with our experiences. »
« when primed verbally participants showed a bias towards ‘bottom-up’ processing… Bottom-up processing is when perception starts with the smallest components of incoming stimulus, and works upwards until a representation of the object is formed in our minds. In this process, perceptual experience is based entirely on sensory stimuli pieced together using data that is only available real-time from our senses… ith bottom-up processing, our perception pays more attention to differences in components and elements, divorced from representations gained from our experience… When objects are broken down in this way their function is not at the fore, and so it opens up the potential for more inventive utility »
« The more specificity we introduce in language, the more fixation we induce in thought… Try to abstract the problem so that you have removed any indication of a solution from the way it’s worded. »