Professor of Marketing
Q41112;Q11213; Creativity; Product ideation; Unconscious thought; Deliberation-without-attention ;
Recent research suggests that unconscious thought is superior to conscious thought in many cognitive domains.In this article, the authors show that the duration of unconscious thought has an inverted-U shaped relationship with creativity performance. Unconscious thought is, thus, unlikely to provide creative advantage over conscious thought when deliberation duration is either short or long. However, when deliberation duration is of a moderate length, the creative output of unconscious thought surpasses that of conscious thought.Furthermore, the superiority of unconscious thought pertains only to the novelty dimension of creativity, but not the appropriateness dimension.These findings not only shed light on the powers and limits of unconscious thought but also illuminate the importance of calibration in utilizing unconscious thought to boost creativity.