The Mode Shifting Index (MSI): A new measure of the creative thinking skill of shifting between associative and analytic thinking
Shifting between associative and analytic modes of thought appears to be a key thinking skill for creativity, enabling one to both generate and evaluate creative ideas. However, there currently exists no ready self-report means of assessing mode shifting. We developed a novel self-report measure of mode shifting, the Mode Shifting Index, (MSI) to fulfil this need. The MSI was administered to a sample (N = 332) comprising a group from a recognized area of creative endeavour requiring design skills, architecture, and two control groups from non-design domains, specifically medicine and other professionals and university students. MSI items were answered with respect to two different contexts: mode shifting on ones university course or within ones work (professional context) and outside of university or work in everyday life (everyday context). Principal components analyses revealed two components in each context: metacognitive awareness of shifting and shifting competence. Metacognitive awareness of shifting demonstrated validity by successfully capturing the increase in awareness of mode shifting expected from the architecture group relative to the two control groups. This effect was only reported within the professional context and architects themselves reported increased awareness of shifting in their professional compared to their everyday context. These findings suggest that awareness of shifting could be a learned skill that can be selectively increased within a context in which it is particularly useful to shift, that is when engaged in a creative endeavour. The MSI shows promise as a tool for both furthering our understanding of and assessing mode shifting.
Type of Material
Thinking Skills and Creativity
Copyright (Published Version)
Status of Item
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