ERIC Number: EJ1067159
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 54
Convergent and Divergent Thinking in the Context of Narrative Mysteries
Wenzel, William G.; Gerrig, Richard J.
Discourse Processes: A multidisciplinary journal, v52 n5-6 p489-516 2015
This project demonstrates how narrative mysteries provide a context in which readers engage in creative cognition. Drawing on the concepts of convergent and divergent thinking, we wrote stories that had either convergent or divergent outcomes. For example, one story had a character give his girlfriend a ring (a convergent outcome), whereas the contrasting version of the story had the character give his girlfriend a gun (a divergent outcome). In Experiment 1, participants took more time to read sentences depicting divergent outcomes. This result replicates past research documenting the impact of expectation violations. Experiment 2 used a speak-aloud paradigm to explore the content of readers' thoughts in the context of convergent and divergent outcomes. Analyses of participants' responses indicated that convergent outcomes prompted people to respond with more features of convergent thinking, whereas divergent outcomes prompted them to respond with more features of divergent thinking. These results support the claim that narrative experiences provide a context for creative cognition.
Descriptors: Convergent Thinking, Creative Thinking, Story Reading, Protocol Analysis, Undergraduate Students, Time, Sentences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York