Volume 25, Issue 3 (Autumn 2023)                   Advances in Cognitive Sciences 2023, 25(3): 32-46 | Back to browse issues page

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Dadkhah S, Faregh S A, Pouralvar K, Amraee B. Generating and considering the effect of embodied symbols of creativity (embodied cognition-based theory) on industrial design students. Advances in Cognitive Sciences 2023; 25 (3) :32-46
URL: http://icssjournal.ir/article-1-1555-en.html
1- PhD in Health Psychology, Department of Cognitive Science, Faculty of Multimedia, Tabriz Islamic Art University, Tabriz, Iran
2- Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial Design, Faculty of Design, Tabriz Islamic Art University, Tabriz, Iran
3- Assistant Professor, Faculty of Multimedia, Tabriz Islamic Art University, Tabriz, Iran
Abstract:   (1300 Views)
Studies emphasize the possibility of cognitive and emotional controlling of creativity. Various studies indicate that emotional and behavioral harassment could be implemented independent of conscious choice and guidance, which could be applied to influence creativity.
These studies use external environmental stimuli and preparation techniques to activate mental representations, often based on the theory of embodied cognition, an approach that provides a basis for turning mental states into physical ones and vice versa. In other words, physical states can affect or even induce psychological states and thus affect behavioral outcomes.
Over time, the concept that creativity also has a physical foundation has gradually evolved. Research evidence has shown that embodying common verbal metaphors in a specific language, both mentally and physically, can lead to the promotion of convergent and divergent thinking. Therefore, this research raises these questions for the first time: which symbol of embodiment can be attributed to creativity? Furthermore, can such an embodied symbol replace embodied verbal metaphors related to the concept of creativity and be used as a trigger or environmental stimulus to facilitate creativity?
Therefore, this innovative research aims to extract the embodied symbol of creativity (based on the embodied cognition approach) and investigate its impact on creativity.

This mixed-method research was carried out in two stages: 1) Qualitative-extracting the embodied symbol of creativity and 2) Quantitative-examining this symbol on the level of creativity of industrial design students. First, during a call with the aim of extracting the physical symbol of creativity, the students of theater schools in the country were invited to imagine themselves in a state as if a creative idea came to their mind and then take pictures of their performance state (facial mimicry, shoulder and hand position). Then, the set of submitted images (80 images) was judged by five experts. Next, this symbol was reevaluated and voted on 30 volunteer art students at Tabriz Islamic Art University, so the image with the most affinity for inducing the concept of creativity was selected as an embodied symbol of creativity.
In the second stage, to investigate this symbol's effectiveness on creativity, a semi-experimental method was used with a pretest-posttest design along with a control group. The target population included all students in the 4th to 6th semester of Bachelor of Industrial Design at Tabriz Islamic Art University. The sample group included 30 people who volunteered to participate in the research and were randomly divided into two groups of 15 people as experimental and control groups. Before the start of the intervention, both groups took Torrance's Figural test as a pretest (Form B) and were again tested with the same test as the posttest after two weeks. During the posttest, the experimental group, at the same time, was given the embodied symbol of creativity as an intervention, but the control group received no intervention. The data obtained were analyzed using the multivariate covariance methods on SPSS-23 software.

In the first stage of the research, the images received from 80 theater students showed that 68% of the images are closely similar in terms of facial expressions, shoulder, and hand movements (indicating the "Aha moment"). In the meantime, after the final judging by five experts and voting by 30 art students, Figure No. 1 was chosen as the embodied symbol of creativity with the most votes (13 votes), which was 43% of the total votes.
In the second stage, the average age (standard deviation) of the experimental and control groups were calculated as 21.53±0.834 and 21.80±0.941, respectively. In addition, the information about the participants' gender, separated into two experimental and control groups, showed that the gender of the majority of the experimental group members was female (60%), and the gender of the majority of the control group members was male (93.3%).
This study examined the impact of tangible symbols of creativity on the creativity levels of industrial design students. The descriptive findings revealed an increase in the creativity post-test scores of the experimental group. This improvement was evident in key statistics like the mean and standard deviation. Meanwhile, the control group's scores remained essentially unchanged. The mean (standard deviation) in the pre-test and post-test of the experimental group was 159.20 (69.68) and 178.73 (59.45), respectively, and the mean (standard deviation) in the control group's pre-test and post-test were 181.13 (59.11) and 180.13 (60.67), respectively.
Multivariate covariance analysis tests were used to determine the effect of the embodied symbol of creativity on the level of creativity and its sub-components (initiative, flexibility, fluency, and expansion). However, before the inferential analysis, parametric assumptions were also observed. Shapiro-Wilk test to measure the normality of the distribution of the research variables, Levine's test to check the equality of error variances, M-Box test to check the homogeneity of the variances of the dependent variables, and the assumption of homogeneity of the regression slope.
In order to determine the effectiveness of the embodied symbol of creativity on the creativity sub-components, the multivariate covariance analysis test was used, indicating its significant effect on the fluency sub-component of creativity in the experimental group (F=18.54, P<0.01). Moreover, the effect size (Eta square) indicates that the changes in the scores of the groups in the fluency component, as much as 0.436, were caused by the implementation of the independent variable (an embodied symbol of creativity).

The findings indicate the extraction of the embodied symbol of creativity in the innovative way of this research and its ability as a trigger (effect size 0.436) of the cognitive dimension of the creativity process based on the promotion of the fluency component (F=18.54, P<0.01). However, using this symbol has not affected the other sub-components of creativity (originality, flexibility, and elaboration).
The results indicate that it is possible to consider the extraction of an embodied symbol that gives the same visual direction and reference to the mental metaphors of different people about the concept of creativity. Due to its similarity with the representational mode of "Aha Moment", it could advance beyond the boundaries of the Persian language and its mental metaphors to find a cross-cultural application. However, conclusive results in this area require more extensive neurological evidence and experiments.

Ethical Consideration
Compliance with ethical guidelines
This article is extracted from the master’s thesis of cognitive science (design and creativity) of the first author (Thesis Code: 20431050), in compliance with ethical principles, including obtaining consent in order to participate in the research, respecting the principle of confidentiality of participants, providing adequate information about how to research to all the participants and being free to withdraw the research process.

Authors' contribution
In this research, Susan Dadkhah contributed to developing the initial idea and choosing the title, designing the study method, defining concepts, literature review, research implementation, collecting, analyzing, interpreting the data, and writing the initial draft of the article.
Seyed Ali Faregh, as the first supervisor, contributed in title approval, consultation, supervision of implementation, scientific discussions, statement of the problem and data interpretation. Kazem Pouralvar, the secondary, supervisor contributed to scientific discussion, translation, and source support. Babak Amraee, as the research consultant, provided the operational definition of the concepts, sample group coordination, and scientific discussion for data interpretations. All research team members were actively involved in the data interpretation and editing of the final draft.

The present research received no funding from any financing organization.

The authors would like to express their grate gratitude to all the theater students participating in this research. Besides, the authors appreciate Ebrahim Nabati, Hossein Nadalizade, Mahsa Dadbud, Hossein Baghban, Mohsen Sheidaiefar, Fakhri Sadat Hasani, Reza Hamedikhah, Narges Kamrava, Azar Mahmoudi, Arezou Belarak, Fatereh Yahyaee, and Setareh Hosseini.

Conflict of interest
The authors declared no conflict of interest.
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Type of Study: Research |
Received: 2023/06/7 | Accepted: 2023/08/29 | Published: 2023/12/13

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