The Personal Trait Myth: A Comparative Analysis of the Innovation Impact of Design Thinking Tools and Personal Traits

  • Nikolas MartelaroEmail author
  • Shameek Ganguly
  • Martin Steinert
  • Malte Jung
Part of the Understanding Innovation book series (UNDINNO)


Design thinking asserts that individuals and teams have the ability to build their innovative capacity through various tools and methods no matter their predispositions to creativity and innovation. The contexts of design thinking attempt to alter design process towards more innovative ideas. This work attempts to experimentally disentangle the impact of disposition and situation during design activity. We present a variety of design contexts intended to be tested against dispositional factors during an experimental design task. We then present a pilot study exploring how process-priming impacts design process during a problem-solving task and an open-ended design task. Our preliminary results suggest that short process-priming activities may not be the most effective means for altering design process. Rather, more integrated contextual interventions may be better candidates for impacting design process and would be interesting test variables for future studies.


Cognitive Load Design Task Cognitive Style Situational Factor Design Outcome 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikolas Martelaro
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shameek Ganguly
    • 2
  • Martin Steinert
    • 3
  • Malte Jung
    • 4
  1. 1.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Apple Inc.CupertinoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Engineering Design and Materials (IPM)Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway
  4. 4.Information ScienceCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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