How the group affects the mind: A cognitive model of idea generation in groups

Bernard A. Nijstad*, Wolfgang Stroebe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

370 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A model called search for ideas in associative memory (SIAM) is proposed to account for various research findings in the area of group idea generation. The model assumes that idea generation is a repeated search for ideas in associative memory, which proceeds in 2 stages (knowledge activation and idea production), and is controlled through negative feedback loops and cognitive failures (trials in which no idea is generated). We show that (a) turn taking (production blocking) interferes with both stages of the process; (b) ideas suggested by others aid the activation of problem-relevant knowledge; and (c) cognitive failures are important determinants of brainstorming persistence, satisfaction, and enjoyment. Implications for group decision making and group recall are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-213
Number of pages28
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology review
Volume10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Keywords

  • SOCIAL-INFLUENCE PROCESSES
  • BRAINSTORMING GROUPS
  • PRODUCTIVITY LOSS
  • FREE-RECALL
  • INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
  • GROUP-PERFORMANCE
  • WORKING-MEMORY
  • INFORMATION
  • ACTIVATION
  • CREATIVITY

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