“How Beliefs Affect Creative Performance” by Dr. Loran F. NORDGREN
Dr. Loran F. NORDGREN
Associate Professor of Management and Organizations
Kellogg School of Management
The first part of this talk investigates the prediction that people underestimate the value of persistence for creative performance. Across a range of creative tasks, we find that people consistently underestimate how productive they would be while persisting on creative endeavors. We find that the subjectively experienced difficulty, or disfluency, of creative thought seems to account for persistence undervaluation. Why does this matter? Because our false beliefs about the value of persistence lead people to underinvest in creative effort, thereby undermining performance. The second part of the talk examines people beliefs about the quality of creative thought over time. We provide evidence that suggests people believe that idea quality declines over time when in fact no such decline occurs. Taken together, this research demonstrates that persistence is a critical determinant of creative performance and people may undervalue and underutilize persistence in everyday creative problem solving.