The effects of individual cognitive ability and idea stimulation on idea-generation performance

Joseph S. Valacich, J. H. Jung, Clayton A. Looney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


A computer-based group idea-generation simulator was used to measure the performance of individuals with high and low cognitive ability who received high- or low-quality stimulation; high- and low-quality stimulation was operationalized by presenting controlled idea submissions from simulated group members throughout the idea-generation session. Cognitive ability and stimuli quality interacted such that the high cognitive ability/high-quality stimuli treatment achieved the highest performance. The results suggest that the performance of individuals with high cognitive ability can be enhanced when given high-quality stimuli or be inhibited when exposed to low-quality stimuli. The performance of individuals with low cognitive ability, in contrast, is consistently meager regardless of stimuli quality. The findings suggest that group composition cannot only significantly influence the overall ideational performance of a group, but also that of individual group members. The implications of these findings for future research, as well as the implications for the design of group idea-generation procedures, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalGroup Dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Cognitive ability
  • Idea generation
  • Stimuli quality


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