Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology



First Advisor

Paul B Paulus


Electronic brainstorming is a method developed to take advantage of the positive effects of collective ideation, such as cognitive stimulation, while decreasing production blocking and social loafing. Research indicates that as group size increases so does the total number of ideas generated. Yet, as groups get larger, brainstormers may succumb to cognitive overload and no longer benefit from the cognitive stimulation of other group members. To counter this potential source of production loss, the use of folders has been developed. Folders are a means of collecting ideas and distributing them among group members in smaller more manageable sets. However, studies demonstrating the effect of group size have also increased the number of folders as group size increases. The present study was designed to determine the differential effects of exposure to varied numbers of ideas (as in groups of varied sizes) and the number of folders. Participants generated ideas for 15 minutes while being exposed to 28 or 112 ideas. Additionally, ideas were distributed among 1, 4 or 8 folders. A control group with no idea exposure was used for comparison. The 112 idea condition produced significantly more ideas than the nominal and the 28 idea and nominal conditions, but there was no effect of folders. This suggests that the effect of group size in electronic brainstorming is due to exposure to a large number of ideas and is not affected by the increased number of folders.


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Psychology Commons