Unconscious Goals and Creativity: Activating Creativity Goals Breaks Established Associations and Leads to the Generation of Original Ideas

Gordon Moskowitz, Lehigh University, USA
Kai Sassenberg, University of Jena, Germany
Goals have associated with them specific mindsets that allow for successful goal pursuit. Conscious goal pursuit, however, can trigger interfering cognitive routines that actually deter successful goal pursuit. Our research illustrates that the priming of goals, in this case the goal to be creative, leads to more efficient goal pursuit. The unconsciously pursued goal to be creative allows for creativity to be achieved by inhibiting established associations that can block creativity. This leads to the generations of new/novel solutions and ideas. Consciously adopting a creativity goal has the opposite effect, with creativity achieved only when implicitly triggered.
[ to cite ]:
Gordon Moskowitz and Kai Sassenberg (2007) ,"Unconscious Goals and Creativity: Activating Creativity Goals Breaks Established Associations and Leads to the Generation of Original Ideas", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 270-275.