Creativity in temporal social networks - new paper
We have a new paper out this week:
- Creativity in temporal social networks: how divergent thinking is impacted by one’s choice of peers 1
Raiyan Abdul Baten, Daryl Bagley, Ashely Tenesaca, Famous Clark, James P. Bagrow, Gourab Ghoshal and Ehsan Hoque, J. R. Soc. Interface. 1720200667 (2020)
Creativity is viewed as one of the most important skills in the context of future-of-work. In this paper, we explore how the dynamic (self-organizing) nature of social networks impacts the fostering of creative ideas. We run six trials (N = 288) of a web-based experiment involving divergent ideation tasks. We find that network connections gradually adapt to individual creative performances, as the participants predominantly seek to follow high-performing peers for creative inspirations. We unearth both opportunities and bottlenecks afforded by such self-organization. While exposure to high-performing peers is associated with better creative performances of the followers, we see a counter-effect that choosing to follow the same peers introduces semantic similarities in the followers’ ideas. We formulate an agent-based simulation model to capture these intuitions in a tractable manner, and experiment with corner cases of various simulation parameters to assess the generality of the findings. Our findings may help design large-scale interventions to improve the creative aptitude of people interacting in a social network.
Congrats to my collaborators, especially Raiyan for leading us. Fantastic group!