Creativity and Perspective: Effects of Incubation and Perspective on Creative Idea Generation
Last registered on November 13, 2018


Trial Information
General Information
Creativity and Perspective: Effects of Incubation and Perspective on Creative Idea Generation
Initial registration date
October 02, 2018
Last updated
November 13, 2018 6:03 PM EST
Primary Investigator
University of Cambridge
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Rollins University
PI Affiliation
University of Cambridge
Additional Trial Information
In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
This study explores how well individuals perform in creative tasks when being asked to think in terms of themselves/others/in general. Further, this study explores how creative performance is affected by financial incentives.
This study focuses on the aspect of the creative process called 'incubation,' which means that participants will be introduced to the creative task, then interrupted and given a period of time (an incubation period) to wait before doing the task again. The results of the initial task and the final task are the focus of the study.
In a randomized controlled trial, participants will be asked to perform a creativity task under different perspectives (others/self/in general) and under different incentive schemes (financial incentive, control). after performing the task, participants will be given a period of time to fill in questions and perform a menial task. After this period of time, participants will perform the creativity task again.
The first creativity task participants perform will replicate a previous study, while also adding an additional condition (the financial incentive). The final creativity task, after the incubation period, will also be measured to see if the initial manipulations in the first task affected the performance in the final task.
Our three measures for the creativity tasks are (1) total number of ideas, (2) average creativity rating by two independent judges, and (3) total number of creative ideas (ideas that achieve an average rating of 7 or higher from the independent judges)

External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Ebert, Charlie, Raghabendra KC and Jaideep Prabhu. 2018. "Creativity and Perspective: Effects of Incubation and Perspective on Creative Idea Generation." AEA RCT Registry. November 13.
Experimental Details
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our first dependent measure is creativity as usually measured through Guilford's Alternative Uses Task. Namely, we will total the number of uses generated for each participant.
As a second measure, we will find the average creativity rating for an individual’s generated ideas. Ideas will be rated by 2 raters (1-10 from low to high creativity) and these rating swill be averaged to get an average rating for each idea. Then, all the average ratings of the ideas a participant generated will be averaged to get the participant’s average creativity score.
Criterion for creativity based off the article: Silvia, Paul J., Beate P. Winterstein, John T. Willse, Christopher M. Barona, Joshua T. Cram, Karl I. Hess, Jenna L. Martinez, and Crystal A. Richard (2008), “Assessing creativity with divergent thinking tasks: Exploring the reliability and validity of new subjective scoring methods.,” Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 2 (2), 68.

Finally, a third criterion is the total number of ideas that achieve an average creativity rating of above seven from the raters. As of right now, this measurement has only been ascribed to hypothesis number 5.

Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
We are also measuring perspective taking, prosocial motivation, intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. We expect to see people in the others-perspective condition have a higher amount of perspective taking in the initial creativity task than those in the self-perspective condition or general-perspective condition. We expect intrinsic motivation not to be affected by the perspective manipulations, however, we do expect the financial incentive to positively increase intrinsic motivation across perspective conditions. We also don't expect the prosocial motivation to be affected by any of the manipulations (perspective or financial incentive)

Intrinsic, prosocial, and perspective taking scales were adapted from the paper: Grant, Adam M. and James W. Berry (2011), “The necessity of others is the mother of invention: Intrinsic and prosocial motivations, perspective taking, and creativity,” Academy of management journal, 54 (1), 73–96.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
This study uses a 3X2 between-subjects factorial design. There are two interventions:
(1) The manipulation of perspective during habit formation (others/self/general)
(2) The type of incentive given during creativity tasks (financial incentive/no incentive)
Experimental Design Details
Inclusion/exclusion for sampling for the study This study will be done over M Turk. We currently make the following inclusion criteria Participant HIT approval rate of over 95% Over 1000 HITs approved As of right now, there are no other exclusion criteria. Study Overview: Participants will respond to an MTurk survey, which will have three stages: Stage One: Participants will be given two minutes to come up with as many alternative uses for an object as possible (called an alternative uses task or AUT). They will be asked to generate alternative uses under three different perspectives : Perspective Treatment 1 Please list all the creative alternative uses you can think of for an item (the item will be presented on the next page). List as many creative uses as possible within the time limit Responses must be in a general format, describing how the item could be used. See the proper response format below. Proper Response Format: A brick could be used____________. Example: A brick could be used as a paperweight. Perspective Treatment 2 Please list all the creative alternative uses you can think of for an item (the item will be presented on the next page) List as many creative uses as possible within the time limit Responses must be in third person, describing how others could use the item. See the proper response format below. Proper Response Format: A _____ could use a brick _____. Example: A desk worker could use a brick as a paperweight. Perspective Treatment 3 Please list creative alternative uses for an item (the item will be presented on the next page) List as many creative uses as possible within the time limit Responses must be in first person, describing how you personally could use the item. See the proper response format below. Proper Response Format: I could use a brick _____. Example: I could use a brick as a paperweight During this initial AUT, half of the participants will also receive a financial incentive: Financial Incentive Important: During this task, if you score within the top half of participants for creative performance, then you will receive an additional 5 dollars bonus pay. Creative performance is measured as the total number of ideas you generate that two raters rate above a six (on a scale from 1 to 10 ) for creativity. Therefore, generating a larger number of creative ideas will result in greater creative performance. Stage Two: Stage two is the incubation phase. The incubation phase will take 12 minutes and will consist of three tasks: simple math problems, reading excerpts from open-source books, and using a mouse to move a slider along number lines to appointed numbers. Stage Three: Stage three will be a second round of AUTs. First we will give the same AUT as in Stage One, followed by a new AUT. The AUT that is the same as in Stage One is the important AUT, the new AUT is there to test whether any changes between conditions are specific to the previous task, or generalizable to new AUTs as well. There will be no manipulations in these AUTs, participants can respond in any format they wish and there is not additional incentive. Post-study data exclusion criteria Participants will have had to have given at least one answer to all the AUTs to be included. Otherwise, their scores cannot be calculated. How does one calculate the average creativity of a score when the scoring does not exist? Numbers of who did not complete an answer for all AUTs will be reported. Participants will have to have signed the consent form to be included. Participant answers to the AUTs will need to be in the proper format requested (each perspective condition asks for responses to be in a specific sentence format). Those that are not in the proper format will be excluded. One researcher (or potentially individuals recruited for casual work) will look at the answers to the AUTs and discern whether the participant thought of the item as was intended (for example, thinking of a golf club as the metal stick, rather than as a social club where people go to play golf). Those who answered according to the wrong concept of the item will be removed from analysis. This number will also be reported. Participants got the majority of the answers wrong in the incubation task, or did not answer the majority of the question in the incubation task, will be removed on the grounds that they were not participating correctly. We will include focus checks and proper survey completion checks as well. These may be used to exclude at least portions of the participants responses. However, if their response to the AUTs are in the proper format we will keep their answers for at least the AUTs. Answering in the proper format indicated that they were actually paying attention. We may also include understanding checks to make sure the financial incentive was noticed and the study was performed as intended. Violating this may be cause for the removal of data points. All exclusions will be reported along with justification.
Randomization Method
Randomization is done through the Qualtrics platform, which allows for randomization within its coding. Participants will be randomly and evenly distributed into the different conditions.

I believe that Mechanical Turk, which is the distribution system for the study, randomizes the sample we receive, within our inclusion restrictions.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
At least180 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
At least 180 individual
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
At least 30 individuals within each treatment and control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Criterion for significance is .05. Minor significance is .1 Power against alternative hypothesis is conventionally .80, but we would like .95 Ideally 30 individuals in each of the six condition groups, with an ideal total of 180 participants. We may accept more participants, just in case exclusions become dangerous to the validity of the study. The test will be two-tailed.
IRB Name
Judge Business School Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers