Irene Scopelliti, Paola Cillo, Bruno Busacca, David Mazursky

The Effect of Budget Constraints on Creativity

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Creatività; Vincoli Finanziari; Creativity; Financial Constraints; Novelty-Seeking.

This article analyzes the effects of financial constraints and of their interaction with individual novelty-seeking traits on the outcome of different types of creative tasks such as product ideation and product repair. Three experimental studies examine the effect of financial constraints on creativity of the outcome of a product ideation task, compare the effect of financial constraints with the effect of another type of constraint (i.e., input restriction) on creativity of products ideated, on the amount of resources invested in the development of the creative solution, and on the type of creative process adopted, and following re¬cent recommendations on the adoption of an interactionist perspective for the study of creativity, analyze the effect of financial constraints in interaction with an individual difference such as novelty-seeking, which embraces more remote determinants of creative performance, on the creativity of the outcomes to a product ideation task. The results suggest that constrained financial resources may be beneficial to creativity. Specifically, results suggest that financial constraints lead to the ideation of more creative products, even though these products make use of fewer inputs and of a lower budget. Furthermore, while yielding outcomes as creative as the ones generated under input constraints, financial constraints induce the use of fewer resources and activate a top down rather than a bottom up processing strategy in the solution of the problem solving task. In addition, the results show that the effect of financial constraints is stronger for individuals with inherent tendencies toward novelty-seeking, because their stock of experiences and perspectives to put them under stress when facing an unconstrained problem space.

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