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Design Thinking and its Impact on Affect

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Marian MOORE, Yi ZHANG, Jeanne LIEDTKA and Andrew KING


In our current research, we investigate the role design thinking can have on

innovators’ affective state. Positive affect is associated with increased

creativity in problem-solving, and we hypothesize that design thinking can

shift practitioners’ affect. We propose a model of how design thinking may

influence affective states and, thereby, affect the problem-solving outcomes.

We report on an exploratory study that measures changes in the affective

state of 66 design thinking workshop participants. The workshop’s primary

purpose is to introduce design thinking principles and allow the participants

an opportunity to actively develop a new product prototype for another

participant by applying the principles. Using the Positive Affect items on the

Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PNAS), we measured the participants’

state prior to and after their design thinking project session. We present

preliminary results that design thinking affects participants’ affective states

and has the propensity to generate outcomes that create more value for the

intended user than in a control condition.


PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2014


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