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Industrial and Organizational Psychology | Organizational Behavior and Theory


Stephen Stelzner


I-O Psychologists are interested in factors that can affect work productivity and performance among an organization’s employees. Some professionals argue that two heads are better than one when it comes to being innovative and coming up with creative solutions, however, others state the opposite given that group settings tend to result in many hindering factors such as conformity and production blocking. In the present study, we attempted to determine whether or not there is a differential impact of working groups and working individuals on creativity and performance. This was measured through a divergent thinking task based on Guilford’s Alternative Uses Task (1967) and a convergent thinking task based on Mednick’s Remote Association Task (1962). Introduction to Psychology students were asked to complete both tasks, once as a group and once as individuals. The alternative uses task asked participants to list as many possible uses for a single common household item within a span of three minutes while the remote association task asked participants to answer a number of questions made up of three words and list the one word that associates the other three together. I hypothesized that participants working in an individual setting will have a higher total mean score on the divergent and convergent thinking tasks than the same participants working on these tasks in a group setting.