Taking the Good With the Bad: The Impact of Forecasting Timing and Valence on Idea Evaluation and Creativity

Tristan McIntosh, Tyler J. Mulhearn, Michael D. Mumford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Forecasting is an integral component to idea evaluation and has been shown to positively impact creative performance. However, less is known about what set of conditions, namely forecasting timing and valence, maximizes the impact that forecasting has on creative performance. Along related lines, much is unknown about how quality and originality standards applied in idea evaluation interact with forecasting approaches to impact forecasting performance, idea evaluation, and creativity. In the present study, undergraduates were asked to take on the role of a restaurant development consultant and to develop a plan for a new restaurant concept. Participant forecast quality and extensiveness, idea evaluation quality, depth and range, and final plan quality, originality, and elegance were evaluated. Before formulating final plans, participants were asked to forecast either positive, negative, or both positive and negative outcomes of their generated ideas either as each individual idea was generated or after the final list of potential ideas had been generated. Then, participants evaluated each of their ideas with respect to quality or originality standards. It was found that forecasting both positive and negative outcomes during idea generation improves forecasting performance, idea evaluation, and plan elegance. The implications of these findings for understanding forecasting and creative problem solving are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Creativity
  • Forecasting
  • Idea evaluation
  • Standards
  • Valence

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