Understanding the relationship between personality, cognition, and creativity in product design

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Design Manufacture and Engineering Man


Creativity is fundamental to successful product design, and is a key component of design proficiency. Current psychology research suggests that personality traits may influence creative ability and achievement, potentially through the involvement of particular cognitive abilities. This has important implications for design research: designers with different personalities may respond differently to methods and tools intended to support creative thinking processes, and design students may require different pedagogical support to develop creative ability depending on their personality traits. However, design research is currently lacking scientifically robust knowledge on the influence of personality traits on product design creativity, and the relationships between cognition, personality, and creativity have barely been investigated. Furthermore, different personality traits have been linked to creative achievement in the arts versus science/engineering. Given that product design integrates elements from both of these domains, this raises interesting and unanswered questions about how personality traits in design might compare with other creative fields.

This PhD project will combine qualitative and quantitative methods from design and psychology to provide new understanding about the relationships between personality, cognition, and creativity in product design. The knowledge generated will provide insight into how design methods and tools could be optimised for the differing traits and cognitive abilities of designers, and impact design education by providing a foundation for new approaches.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/T517938/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2025
2607694 Studentship EP/T517938/1 01/10/2021 30/09/2025 Thomas Kearney