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Cutting-Edge Findings From NSF's Science of Science and Innovation Policy Program

Friday, May 28, 2010, 9:00 AM - 10:20 AM
Gardner A - B

Chair: Susannah Paletz
University of Pittsburgh

The psychology of science is a growing field. This symposium presents recent findings from four studies funded through NSF's new Science of Science and Innovation Policy. These studies examine inspiration, cognitively based multi-agent computational modeling, tools in engineering innovation, and the interaction between conflict and analogy in teams.

Inspiration and the Actualization of Creative Ideas
Todd Thrash
College of William and Mary
In Study 1, a cross-lagged longitudinal study, getting creative ideas preceded the state of inspiration. In Study 2, inspiration while writing predicted the creativity of the product. In Study 3, inspiration was found to mediate the transmission of creativity from seminal idea to product.

Laura A. Maruskin, College of William and Mary

A Cognitive Approach to Multi-Agent Social Modeling of Innovation Policy
John Gero
Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study
We employ computational multi-agent modeling using cognitively based social agents that have indirect interaction with each other to examine the production of innovative ideas. Each agent takes a situated cognition approach where the changing situations capture the changing values of the various players.

Innovators' Physical Environment Changes Cognitive Processes and Innovation Outcomes
Christian D. Schunn
University of Pittsburgh
This study examines how different media influence the team problem solving success. Using video data from 60 multidisciplinary engineering design teams, we found reliable associations between tool use and design outcomes at the macro level and tool presence and cognitive process often thought relevant to design success at the micro-level.

When Sparks Fly: Uncovering a Relationship between Analogy and Interpersonal Conflict
Susannah Paletz
University of Pittsburgh
This study connects social and cognitive variables in team innovation. We examined the relationship between analogy and conflict in informal, work-related conversations by Mars Exploration Rover scientists. Within-domain analogies, but not within-discipline or outside-discipline analogies, led to science and work process conflicts. Conflicts did not lead to within-domain analogies.

Dr. Christian D. Schunn, University of Pittsburgh
Kevin H. Kim, University of Pittsburgh

Julia Lane (Discussant)
National Science Foundation

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