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Abstract

In many meetings and work sessions, group members exchange ideas in order to come up with novel, creative solutions for problems and to generate ideas for future innovations. This type of group idea generation or brainstorming process has been studied in detail, and we have discovered much about the cognitive and social processes that underlie group idea generation. It appears that the brainstorming performance of groups is often hindered by various social and cognitive influences, but under the appropriate conditions, group idea exchange can be quite effective. In this article, we summarize the present state of knowledge, point out some significant gaps in our knowledge, and suggest a cognitive-social-motivational perspective to integrate the major findings and to guide future research in the area of group creativity and group idea generation.