Empathic creativity: can trait empathy predict creative concept generation and selection?

Mohammad Alsager Alzayed, Scarlett R. Miller, Christopher McComb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Over the past decade, engineering design research has seen a significant surge of the discussion of empathy. As such, design researchers have been devoted in devising and assessing empathic design activities. While prior research has examined the utility of empathic design experiences on driving creative concept generation, little is known about the role of a designer's empathic tendencies in driving creative concept generation and selection in an engineering design project. Without this knowledge, we cannot be sure if, when, or how empathy influences the design process. Thus, the main goal of this paper was to identify the role of trait empathy in creative concept generation and selection in an engineering design student project. In order to achieve this objective, a study was conducted with 103 first-year engineering students during two design stages of an 8-week design project (concept generation and concept selection). The main findings from this paper highlighted that empathic concern tendencies positively impacted the generation of more ideas while personal distress tendencies negatively impacted the generation of more ideas. During concept selection, perspective-taking tendencies positively impacted participants’ propensity for selecting elegant ideas. This research took the first step in encouraging empirical investigations aimed at understanding the role of trait empathy across different stages of the design process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-383
Number of pages15
JournalArtificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing: AIEDAM
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 12 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence

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