ORCID Identifier(s)

0000-0002-6994-7601

Graduation Semester and Year

2021

Language

English

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Jared Kenworthy

Abstract

The effect of short breaks on creativity and idea generation, referred to as “incubation”, has had a considerable body of work devoted to its causal mechanisms. Despite this, many issues persist in the research literature, including difficulty in testing between similar competing theoretical frameworks, mixed findings regarding incubation effects, as well as measurement and practicality issues related to the use of non-expert human raters. Therefore, the present study combines methods used in recent research to evaluate which proposed mechanisms are supported. Additionally, to explore potential solutions to rater issues, a novel research methodology is explored using text mining methods and a lexical database called WordNet (Fellbaum, 1998). Results indicate a slight incubation effect for novelty of ideas during a standard divergent thinking task but failed to find support for the mind-wandering account of incubation effects. Instead, the pattern of results suggests limited support for the unconscious work theory of incubation. Additionally, results support the notion that WordNet-based measures of category flexibility are highly correlated with human-judged categories, which may prompt future research into similar methods as an alternative to the use of human raters.

Keywords

Creativity, Incubation, Breaks, WordNet, Fixation, Unconscious work, Mind-wandering

Disciplines

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Comments

Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Psychology Commons

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