Do Future Engineers Have a Creative Thread? An Analysis of Two Cognitive Exercises and a Test
Sophie Morin and Jean-Marc Robert
University of British Columbia
Morin, S., Robert, J.-M., & Gabora, L. (2018). Do Future Engineers Have a Creative Thread? An Analysis of Two Cognitive Exercises and a Test. Business Creativity and the Creative Economy, 4, 76-89. https://doi.org/10.18536/bcce.2018.10.8.1.08
To better understand prospective engineers’ creativity, and in particular their use of free association and conceptual combination, three exercises of cognitive skills related to creativity were administered to a group of engineering students. These included an encoding retrieval exercise, an analogy exercise, and a creativity performance test (Creative Engineering Design Assessment; CEDA). In the encoding retrieval exercise, participants’ method for retrieval of encoded information when shown three stimuli was studied through mental maps productions. A large majority of participants produced similar maps containing chains of words with an average level of originality. The General Analogy Problem was used to determine the state of mind that was present when participants resolved analogies. Similar to previous results, it observed that 76% of participants used ill-defined cognitive structures. Finally, the CEDA test was used to assess creative performance. No large correlations were found. This description of the various results has clear implications for educational.
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