analogical distance -> creativity/novelty

Perhaps it is time to zoom out a little. We see positive effects of analogical distance on novelty of ideas across numerous studies, but we know that novelty per se is insufficient for creativity, and especially for innovation (where stakes for the idea working are higher).

Perhaps what really goes on in creative processes that succeed is a blending and chaining of near and far analogies to sort of strike that “sweet spot” between too far (very novel, but unlikely to work) and too near (not novel, but likely to work).

Perhaps the implication for designing support tools is that it is best to facilitate broad search in the analogical space, potentially ensuring an ideal mix of near and far?

I need to test this idea. Next step!!


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