Is Electronic Brainstorming or Brainwriting the Best Way to Improve Creative Performance in Groups? An Overlooked Comparison of Two Idea-Generation Techniques


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Nicolas Michinov, Université Rennes 2, CRPCC-LAUREPS, EA 1285, Place du Recteur Henri le Moal, F-35000 Rennes, France. E-mail:


Two studies aimed to examine an overlooked question in brainstorming research, comparing the effects on performance and attention to the ideas of other group members of 2 idea-generation techniques based on a pooling approach: electronic brainstorming (EBS) and brainwriting (BWr). The results demonstrate that the pooling approach, which is a major feature of EBS, is more effective for EBS than for BWr, and also leads to greater perceived satisfaction with EBS (Study 1). However, if the EBS is forced into a system whereby extra effort is required to see the other participants’ ideas (Study 2), the “superiority effect” disappears. These findings suggest ways of optimizing creativity in groups from the perspective of applied social psychology.