Tag Archives: creativity

Look and feel mismatch: Looking heavy but feeling light

We sometimes experience sensory disconfirmation, meaning we expect to feel A but actually feel B. For instance, iPhone looks like a product with light plastic but it is made by heavy metal. In particular, disconfirmation between visual and haptic information (or mismatch between look and feel) is critical for business.

Showroom (Curated by Sarah Robayo Sheridan, January 21 – March 5, 2016)

“How do Toronto artists perceive new social and visual orders brought about by a decade of rapid urban development?”

Commonly, a showroom is intended to present a generic ideal of living, devoid of the nuances of lives as they are lived. The artists in this exhibition, however, turn our attention to the influence of lifestyle marketing in constructing the form and texture of the cityscape. By turns, critical, comedic and formal, the works deepen given knowledge of architecture, place, and the social order.

Fitness equipment looks heavy and rough. However, some artists challenge our intuition: dumbbells are light and sandbags are soft in the exhibition. According to research, when negative sensory disconfirmation is introduced, the source of disconfirmation can sometimes be perceived positively. To go further, the more our intuitions are challenged by look-and-feel mismatch, the more we may become creative.

Sundar, A., & Noseworthy, T. J. (2016). Too Exciting to Fail, Too Sincere to Succeed: The Effects of Brand Personality on Sensory Disconfirmation. Journal of Consumer Research, 43(1), 44–67.

Across four studies, the authors demonstrate that consumers intuitively link disconfirmation, specifically sensory disconfirmation (when touch disconfirms expectations by sight), to a brand’s personality. Negative disconfirmation is often associated with negative posttrial evaluations. However, the authors find that when negative sensory disconfirmation is introduced by an exciting brand, the source of disconfirmation can sometimes be perceived positively. This occurs because consumers intuitively view disconfirmation as more authentic of an exciting personality. Similarly, despite the wealth of literature linking positive disconfirmation to positive posttrial evaluations, the authors find that sensory confirmation is more preferred for sincere brands because consumers intuitively view confirmation as more authentic of a sincere personality. The authors conclude by demonstrating the intuitive nature of this phenomenon by showing that the lay belief linking brand personality to disconfirmation does not activate in a context where sensory disconfirmation encourages a more deliberative assessment of the product.

Empty space sparks creativity

Space matters when we need creativity. According to research, when a ceiling is high, people become creative because a high (vs. low) ceiling primes the concept of freedom (vs. confinement). Similarly, Jump Associates has various types of cubicles for designers; “garage” cubicles are widely open for those who want to be creative, whereas “Zen rooms” are tiny small cubicles. Interestingly, Dev Patnaik, the founder of the Jump Associates, mentioned that US people prefer garage offices whereas Japanese clients like Zen rooms.

When I visited the design department at the University of Sao Paulo, one of the best universities in Brazil, I was shocked by its building. It has a huge empty space in the middle and has tons of bright, natural lights. I learned that empty space not only increases the perceived value of a product inside. It boosts the creativity of the people inside.

Inside the building, the walls allow people to write and erase easily, which also may enhance creativity.

Meyers-Levy, J., & Zhu, R. (Juliet). (2007). The Influence of Ceiling Height: The Effect of Priming on the Type of Processing That People Use. Journal of Consumer Research, 34(2), 174–186.

This article demonstrates that variations in ceiling height can prime concepts that, in turn, affect how consumers process information. We theorized that when reasonably salient, a high versus low ceiling can prime the concepts of freedom versus confinement, respectively. These concepts, in turn, can prompt consumers’ use of predominately relational versus item-specific processing. Three studies found support for this theorizing. On a variety of measures, ceiling height–induced relational or item-specific processing was indicated by people’s reliance on integrated and abstract versus discrete and concrete ideation. Hence, this research sheds light on when and how ceiling height can affect consumers’ responses.

Do we enjoy brunch more if we combine foods to create it?

In cafes in Copenhagen, Denmark, customers are often asked to create their own meals by combining foods. I succeeded in this creative task in one cafe but did not in the other. Two cafes have slightly different menus.

 

 

I enjoyed the meal in the Mad & Kaffes (Food & Coffee). Foods were divided into six categories on the menu (green, dairy, bakery, meat and fish, and treat). I decided how many categories to go (3, 5, or 7) and then selected one food in each category.

 

 

I did not enjoy the meal in the Moller Kaffe and Kokken (Moller Coffee and Kitchen). Although individual foods were excellent, they were listed under one category. I could not figure out which foods to choose.

 

Since I knew little about Danish cuisine, categories relieved my burden and helped me create a meal. A similar logic was discovered ten years ago by marketing researchers who showed why kids need to follow instructions to assemble Lego bricks. To reach a creative outcome, we may need decision supporters such as categories, instructions, or even constraints.

 

Dahl, D. W., & Moreau, C. P. (2007). Thinking Inside the Box: Why Consumers Enjoy Constrained Creative Experiences. Journal of Marketing Research, 44(3), 357–369.

From cooking kits to home improvement shows, consumers are increasingly seeking out products that are designed to help them be creative. In this research, the authors examine why consumers participate in creative activities and under what conditions these experiences are the most enjoyable. A qualitative study explores the diverse motivations for undertaking creative tasks and identifies the role of constraints in such endeavors. Then, the authors conduct two experimental studies to understand the importance of constraints (e.g., instructional guidance, target outcomes) in facilitating a balance between perceived competence and autonomy for consumers involved in a creative task. When consumers engage in creative activities with a sense of both autonomy and competence, they enjoy the experience more. The authors discuss implications for managers and provide opportunities for further research.

 

 

Does a Persona Improve Creativity?

 

Inclusion of Other in the Self (IOS) scale (Aron et al., 1992)

 

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to test whether the priming of a brainstorming task by a persona increases ideational fluency and originality, i.e. the quantitative and qualitative dimensions of creative performance. We conducted a preliminary (n = 18) and final (n = 32) experiment with international students of business. These experiments revealed that priming of brainstorming by a persona increases originality of ideas by a large effect size (Cohen’s d = .91, p = .02), and not significantly ideational fluency by a medium effect size (Cohen’s d = .33, p = .39). As an alternative explanation to empathy, the found creativity effect may be attributed to priming that retrieves related memory items and thereby facilitates idea generation. As practical implications, design thinking practitioners can expect more original ideas and overcome design fixation if they brainstorm on a persona which is modelled in a concise and consistent way that caters to understanding the user need.

Keywords

empathy, persona, creativity, originality, ideational fluency, brainstorming, brainwriting, design methodology, design thinking, design research

 

 

 

You will think creatively in Bali

Ubud is a small town on the Indonesian island of Bali. “Eat, Pray, Love” was filmed in 2010 in this town. IMDb explains this movie;

A married woman realizes how unhappy her marriage really is, and that her life needs to go in a different direction. After a painful divorce, she takes off on a round-the-world journey to find herself

Although I did not have to find myself, I needed to take a break from the rat race. One day at this town perfectly recharge myself. People are friendly, food was delicious (Babi Guling at Ibu Oka), and guest houses with free wifi and hot water are cheap. I found many non-local, mostly European tourists spend time on reading/writing books at cafes and restaurants with rice field views (yes, rice fields can be scenic!). This town even has a co-working space called Hubud for those who want to start their own businesses. To me, Ubud is a cleaner/healthier version of Bangkok, a must visit place in the world. 🙂

 

 

Cafe: East vs. West

People often go to cafe not for coffee but for work. According to Mehta, Zhu, and Cheema (2012), an appropriate ambient noise (e.g., cafe noise) enhances work performance. Their five studies showed that people performed creative tasks better when surrounded by the moderate ambient noise (70db) than the low one (50db) or the high one (85db). They argue that when people are surrounded by the moderate ambient noise, people cannot process information easily and thus they focus on their work harder and think more abstractly and creatively.

One website picked up their findings and enables its visitors to play a pre-recorded coffee shop noise at your computer (Coffitivity).

20120708 @ Cafe bene
Cafe “Bene” @ Seoul

Cafe @ Seoul
Cafe “Gurunaru” @ Seoul

Many other space attributes beyond sound are discussed on how to create the ideal workspace. According to the Psyblog run by Jeremy Dean, for instance, there are six tips to do so: (1) avoid open-plan, (2) the great tidy-messy debate, (3) curvy is beautiful, (4) room with a (picture of a) view, (5) plants, and (6) decorates. When it comes to coffee shop chains, Starbucks seem to meet many tips while other competing Canadian coffee shop chains such as Second Cup or Tim Hortons seem to meet only few.

However, more space attributes (in a coffee place) will affect work performance. Two example attributes are whether a coffee place is indoor or outdoor and whether it is brand-new or run-down. Interestingly, most local coffee shops in Seoul are indoors and brand-new while many local coffee shops in North American cities are outdoors and relatively run-down. Since I generally worked more productively when I was at the local coffee shops in North America than when I was at those in Seoul, I expect [outdoor] and [run-down] might be extra critical attributes for a coffee shop to be an ideal workplace.

Cafe @ Boston
Cafe “Au Bon Pain” @ Boston

Cafe @ Virginia
Cafe “Aromas” @ Virginia