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A study of design fixation, its mitigation and perception in engineering design faculty

Linsey, JS and Tseng, I and Fu, K and Cagan, J and Wood, KL and Schunn, C (2010) A study of design fixation, its mitigation and perception in engineering design faculty. Journal of Mechanical Design, Transactions of the ASME, 132 (4). 0410031 - 04100312. ISSN 1050-0472

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The bridge between engineering design and cognitive science research is critical to understand the effectiveness of design methods as implemented by human designers. The study reported in this paper evaluates the effects of design fixation in a group of engineering design faculty, and also provides evidence for approaches to overcome design fixation. Three conditions are compared, a control, a fixation group whom were provided with an example solution, and a defixation group whom were also given materials to mitigate their design fixation. Measures include indicators of design fixation and participant perceptions. The study demonstrates that the engineering design faculty show statistically significant evidence of design fixation, but only partially perceive its effects. This study also indicates that design fixation can be mitigated. The group of participants in this study, due to their background in engineering design research and experience with student design teams, was expected to have more accurate perceptions or awareness of design fixation than the typical participant. Understanding the incongruities between participant perceptions and quantitative design outcomes are particularly of interest to researchers of design methods. For this study, clear evidence exists that designers, even those that study and teach design on a regular basis, do not know when they are being influenced or fixated by misleading or poor information. Copyright © 2010 by ASME.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Linsey, JS
Tseng, I
Fu, K
Cagan, J
Wood, KL
Schunn, Cschunn@pitt.eduSCHUNN0000-0003-3589-297X
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Learning Research & Development Center
Date: 1 April 2010
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Mechanical Design, Transactions of the ASME
Volume: 132
Number: 4
Page Range: 0410031 - 04100312
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1115/1.4001110
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1050-0472
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2014 20:14
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 15:56


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