Herd and Mehta set out to learn more about how to encourage creative thinking. They report that “Imagination visual mental imagery, a mental simulation process that involves imagining an end user interacting with an end product, has been proposed as an efficient strategy to incorporate end-user experiences during new product ideation. . . . The present work delineates the imagination visual mental imagery construct and argues that such mental imagery can take two different routes—one that is more feelings-based (i.e., feelings-imagination), and one that is more objective (i.e., objective-imagination). Further, we propose that although these two approaches will equally benefit outcome usefulness, they will have differential impact on outcome originality. Across five studies, we demonstrate that adopting a feelings-imagination versus an objective-imagination approach induces higher empathic concern, enhancing cognitive flexibility, which leads to higher outcome originality.” An emotion-focused approach can be best when originality is important.
Kelly Herd and Ravi Mehta. 2019. “Head Versus Heart: The Effect of Objective Versus Feelings-Based Mental Imagery on New Product Creativity.” Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 46, no. 1, pp. 36-52, https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/ucy058