On the effectiveness of group brainstorming: Test of One Underlying Cognitive Mechanism

Terry Connolly, Robert L. Routhieaux, Sherry K. Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


Recent studies suggest that group brainstorming, in its electronic form, can be an effective method of generating ideas, if the group is sufficiently large. We report here an experiment probing the mechanism underlying this good performance. Because larger groups are more likely than small ones to generate rare ideas, we hypothesized that rare ideas might be especially stimulating to further idea generation, and thus boost the performance of large, interacting groups. Experimental subjects working alone generated ideas while exposed to streams of either rare, common, or no stimulus ideas. No support for the hypothesized stimulating effect of rare ideas was found. We suggest several alternative mechanisms worth exploring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)490-503
Number of pages14
JournalSmall Group Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this