#ICA20 Top Paper Profile – Ahn, Zhou, Oh, Van Swol, Cascio, Minich, Lee, & Litovsky

Paul Ahn – First Author

The Communication Science and Biology (CSaB) Interest Group awarded four teams top papers for #ICA20. These full-length papers were selected based on a blinded peer review process. Each paper received exceptionally high scores from three independent reviewers, and all three reviewers recommended accepting the submission. These papers truly reflect the outstanding scholarship in CSaB, and we are pleased to say that all top papers this year feature a trainee as first author. Below, we briefly profile a top paper from Ahn, Zhou, Oh, Van Swol, Cascio, Minich, Lee, & Litovsky. Be sure to check out their presentation at #ICA20!

CSaB: In a few short sentences, what is your study about?

Ahn et al.: The study examines if different modes of reasoning (abduction, deduction, and induction) required to communicate affects performance and neural activity in the prefrontal cortex during idea generation tasks. It has been long assumed that abductive reasoning best serves creative purposes. However, deduction and induction in practical reasoning may be as useful as or more useful than abduction. For one, both deduction and induction are types of analogical reasoning (based on similarities between two or more objects) which has been reported to be important in creativity (e.g., Green et al., 2012). For another, deduction and induction both rely to some degree on retrieved memory, which positively affects creative performance (e.g., Benedek et al., 2014). Lastly, cognitive constraints would be created by the requirement to think and communicate in a deductive or inductive way. This would narrow the attentional scope and reduce cognitive burden, which in turn would enhance creative cognition and performance (Medeiros et al., 2014). To the best of our knowledge, there has been no study that manipulated reasoning mode in idea generation.

CSaB: How did you come up with the idea for this line of research?

Ahn et al: I was often involved in creative projects during my stint in marketing. We would debate about which ideas to pursue, and I sensed that different decision-makers (often bosses) or teams were operating upon different reasoning modes, which influenced members' decisions on what kind of ideas to generate. Then in graduate school, I read that creativity is heavily driven by reasoning (Csikszentmihalyi, 1997) and reasoning mode such as abduction, deduction, and induction is one of the most fundamental forces shaping creative reasoning (Habermas, 1978; Johnson-Laird, 2015). Reasoning has since become a major theme in my creativity research.

CSaB: Did you use any open science practices? If so what ones, and is there an available link to your study’s OSF/GitHub?

Ahn et al.: he available link to my study's OSF pre-registration is: https://osf.io/mwtk6/?view_only=6f0d5e8416074f6fbb65784481dcdbb5. (NB: This project was submitted as a pre-registered study, which was new in the #ICA20 CSaB call for papers.)

CSaB: Anything else you would like to add?

Ahn et al.: Despite the current COVID-19 situation, data collection has been made possible through the support of Sewon Oh and Sang Ah Lee at KAIST and Xin Zhou at UW-Madison. As research involving human subjects became impossible since March in the United States, I sought out collaborators and found KAIST, where graduate research was being done normally. Xin Zhou made this collaboration possible through providing all sorts of technical assistance. I wouldn't be able to thank them enough!

CSaB: Tell us more about the team!

Paul Hangsan Ahn, MA, He/His/Him

Ahn, P. H., Zhou, X., Oh, S., Van Swol, L. M., Cascio, C., Minich, M., Lee, S. A., & Litovsky, R. (May, 2020). Reasoning mode and creative performance using fNIRS. To be presented at the 70th International Communication Association annual conference.