Assessing Regulatory Focus Differences in Creative Ideation: An examination of prevention and promotion mindsets on novelty and usefulness

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Meurzec, Rianne Wally (1); Koh, Brandon (2); Koronis, Georgios (1); Kang, Jacob Kai Siang (1); Yogiaman, Christine (1); Silva, Arlindo (1)
Series: ICED
Institution: Singapore University of Technology and Design
Section: Collaborative Design
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


The purpose of this work is to compare impact of regulatory focuses, namely preventive and promotional contexts, on creative ideation measured by novelty and usefulness. The study consisted of Singaporean students from an undergraduate university, and assessed their personality using the Big Five, Regulatory Focus, Creativity type and creativity outcomes measured with the Consensual Assessment Technique by completing a Collaborative Sketch exercise. Participants were randomly assigned to either the preventive, promotional or a baseline condition and tasked with a design problem necessitating a solution in the form of sketches. This study found the three conditions to yield significantly different novelty scores, but not usefulness scores. The most impactful condition on novelty was the baseline, indicating novice designers are capable of creating novel products and services. Those in the promotion condition created the second most novel sketches, or design solutions, followed lastly by the prevention condition. This may be so as novice designers consider larger space of solutions and may generate more ideas. This research is useful in creative pedagogy and for design professionals.

Keywords: Design cognition, Design education, Human behaviour in design


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