Thinking of Roles Trumps Mind-Wandering for Generating New Ideas
Mind-wandering has recently been touted as a way to generate new ideas. While it may be effective in breaking fixation, two large experiments comparing mind-wandering to a human-centric mindset of thinking of various roles show that focused search yields more new uses and more original uses than mind-wandering.
Barbara Tversky is Professor Emerita of Psychology at Stanford University and Professor of Psychology at Columbia Teachers College. Her degrees are in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Michigan and she previously taught at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her research has concerned memory, categorization, spatial thinking and language, event perception and cognition, diagrammatic reasoning, visual communication, production and use of external cognitive tools, gesture, and creativity. She has enjoyed collaborations with linguists, philosophers, biologists, chemists, designers, artists, and computer scientists in graphics, AI, and VR