Brainstorming Doesn't Really Work
A fascinating article from Jonah Lehrer of The New Yorker examines the role that brainstorming plays when it comes to creativity and debunks the notion that "no criticism" yields the best results.
From the article, "[Professor of psychology Charlan] Nemeth’s studies suggest that the ineffectiveness of brainstorming stems from the very thing that [Alex] Osborn [-- the man responsible for the popularity of brainstorming --] thought was most important. As Nemeth puts it, 'While the instruction ‘Do not criticize’ is often cited as the important instruction in brainstorming, this appears to be a counterproductive strategy. Our findings show that debate and criticism do not inhibit ideas but, rather, stimulate them relative to every other condition.' Osborn thought that imagination is inhibited by the merest hint of criticism, but Nemeth’s work and a number of other studies have demonstrated that it can thrive on conflict."
Read the full article here.