The Eye’S Mind and the Mind’S Eye: Impact of Overt Attention on Creative Thinking

Baba Shiv, Stanford University
Monica Wadhwa, Stanford University
Drawing upon research on creativity and visual perception, we propose that the breadth of overt attention can impact creativity on a subsequent creativity task. Specifically, we propose that a broad overt attention associated with scanning a broad visual field as opposed to a narrow overt attention associated with scanning a narrow visual field enhances the scope of covert attention (i.e., internal attention), which can be beneficially applied to a subsequent consumer creativity task. Results from our three studies support our hypothesis. Consistent with our hypothesis, scanning a broad visual field (e.g., watching a movie on a 50-inch screen) versus scanning a narrow visual field (e.g., watching a movie on a 17-inch screen) improved performance on a subsequent consumer creativity task of coming up with creative gift ideas for a friend.
[ to cite ]:
Baba Shiv and Monica Wadhwa (2007) ,"The Eye’S Mind and the Mind’S Eye: Impact of Overt Attention on Creative Thinking", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 660-662.