Investigating the cognitive processes involved in design ideation using psychological tests

Gerard Campbell, Laura Hay, Alex Duffy, Laura Lyall, Chris McTeague, Tijana Vuletic, Madeleine Grealy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book


The cognitive processes involved in design ideation remain poorly understood. To advance knowledge on this issue, we report a study in which 101 Product Design Engineering (PDE) students performed a series of ideation tasks as well as a range of psychological tests assessing different cognitive processes (semantic association, executive functioning, intelligence, mental imagery and divergent thinking). Relationships were then examined between ideation novelty and scores on the cognitive tests. Significant, positive correlations were observed between novelty and associative flexibility, general retrieval ability and fluid intelligence. A significant negative correlation was also found between novelty and inhibition. Finally, multiple regression analysis found that together, the cognitive processes assessed explained 26% of the variance in novelty scores within the sample. The implications of the findings are discussed, along with limitations and directions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign Computing and Cognition'22
Subtitle of host publicationConference Proceedngs
EditorsJohn S Gero
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783031204180
ISBN (Print)9783031204203, 9783031204173
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2023


  • design ideation
  • cognitive process
  • product design


Dive into the research topics of 'Investigating the cognitive processes involved in design ideation using psychological tests'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this