Using paradigm-relatedness to measure design ideation shifts

Eli M. Silk, Shanna R. Daly, Kathryn W. Jablokow, Seda Yilmaz, Amy Rechkemmer, Jennifer Marguerite Wenger

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The goal of this study was to explore multiple quantitative measures of design ideation shifts. We specifically investigated shifts in ideation focused on generating incremental design solutions versus radical design solutions. Utilizing Kirton's Adaption-Innovation (A-I) theory, incremental solutions were labeled as being more adaptive and radical solutions were labeled as being more innovative. We conducted a study with 23 prospective and current undergraduate engineering students. Participants first generated conceptual solutions for a design problem with minimal constraints to create a situation in which they felt free to generate ideas they naturally felt were most appropriate for the problem. Second, participants generated ideas for a different design problem that was framed either to encourage more adaptive or more innovative ideas. We coded each idea using two different versions of a paradigm-relatedness metric. The metrics assessed the extent to which an idea works within or extends beyond currently prevailing paradigms for the problem. Version 1 had two levels: (1) paradigm-preserving or (2) paradigm-modifying. Version 2 added a third intermediate level: (1) paradigm-preserving, (2) somewhat paradigm-modifying, or (3) strongly paradigm-modifying. We assessed ideation shifts quantitatively from the first to the second ideation sessions by comparing counts and proportions of both metrics. Comparing the different quantitative measures provided a test of the advantages and disadvantages of the different ways to characterize ideation shifts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jun 26 2016
Event123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Jun 26 2016Jun 29 2016


Other123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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