The workload capacity of semantic search in convergent thinking
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Experimental Psychology - General, (2021)
09 september 2021
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Experimental Psychology - General
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control
The present study used Systems Factorial Technology (Townsend & Nozawa, 1995) to investigate how people combine dual cues in semantic memory search. Our aims were (a) to understand how cues interact during the process of semantic search in convergent thinking and (b) to determine how workload capacity (i.e. cue-processing efficiency) is related to search performance. In two experiments, participants completed a typical convergent thinking test and a word production task. The results revealed that: (a) collective evidence supports similar patterns in cue-combination strategy despite individual differences in workload capacity, and (b) there exists a negative correlation between workload capacity and performance on convergent thinking test. A potential explanation is that, for the creative individual, loading many candidate answers leads to consumption of substantial processing resources that obtains as low workload capacity but also allows creative individuals to switch more easily from one candidate to another so that there is a higher probability of successfully producing an answer within a limited time. Our results further imply that workload capacity is a significant factor for the semantic search process in convergent thinking and provides new insight on the model of semantic search and creativity.
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