Openness Towards Originality: Can Diversifying Experiences Encourage the Selection of a

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Often there are many ideas generated, but only a few ideas are selected for implementation. Although creativity is often strived for, creative ideas are often dismissed at the selection (Faure, 2004; Putman & Paulus, 2009; Rietzschel, Nijstad & Stroebe, 2006; 2010). The current study examined whether exposure to experiences that violate our assumptions, diversifying experiences, can encourage one to select a creative idea. It was hypothesized that after these diversifying experiences people would be more open to original ideas and hence encourage creative idea selection. Diversifying experiences, operationalized as events conflicting with the laws of physics in a virtual museum were presented to a subset of our participants (N =127) after which they were asked to select the two most creative ideas out of a provided idea pool and rank order them. Their idea selection was compared to the idea selection of participants who experienced conventional experiences in the virtual museum and to participants who had only performed the idea selection task. The appreciation of schemaviolations and the inclination to include odd exemplars in a category were assed to measure openness towards originality. Schema-violations were appreciated more after diversifying experiences compared to after conventional or no experiences. However, this increased openness towards originality did not encourage creative idea selection. Future research could explore whether increasing openness towards originality is a successful way in which creative idea selection can be encouraged. Keywords: creativity, creative idea selection, diversifying experiences, openness towards originality
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