ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (6): 688-698.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00688

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Conformity effect of the evaluation of creative products

ZHANG Hong1,REN jingyuan1,LIU Chenyang1,LUO Jing1,2()   

  1. 1 Beijing Key Laboratory of “Learning & Cognition”, school of Psychology, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
    2 Chinese Institute for Brain Research, Beijing 102206, China
  • Received:2018-07-11 Published:2019-06-25 Online:2019-04-25
  • Contact: Jing LUO


Although previous studies have found that a conformity effect exists widely, whether people are affected by groups in the evaluation of creative products, the new products with the basic characteristics of novelty and practicability, remains a question to be studied. Compared to artistic products, such products are closely related to real life, reflecting actual creativity, and they are typical creative products in life. Although such products reveal new perspectives for consumers, they also promote a sense of uncertainty. Research shows that when faced with uncertainty, participants are more likely to follow others. Almost all studies on this subject have involved the evaluation of creativity, yet novelty and practicability are two important aspects of creativity. Researchers have studied the characteristics of creativity or creative products; however, creative products can be divided into innovative products and renovative products according to their originality. Therefore, we plan to compare the conformity effect of the two kinds of creative products in the evaluation of novelty and practicability in this study.

An “initial evaluation-conformity induced-delay re-evaluation” paradigm was used in Experiment 1, in which participants were first asked to evaluate the practicability (or novelty) of creative products; then the 200 undergraduates' average rating and the participants' own ratings were revealed. The group rating would be revealed as higher or lower than or similar to the participants' rating. Thirty-minutes later, participants evaluated the task again were entirely unexpected. To further analyze the difference in conformity degree between the two types of creative products, the subjects were required to make a certainty judgment on the novelty and practicality of the product in Experiment 2.

Experiment 1 revealed that participants had decreased their practicability (or novelty) ratings when the group rating was lower than their first rating, increased their practicability (or novelty) ratings when the group rating was higher than their first rating, and did not change their ratings significantly when the group rating was comparable to their first rating. In the evaluation of practicability, it was found that the conformity of variation (the second rating - the first rating) of innovative products was significantly higher than that of renovative products. Nevertheless, in the evaluation of novelty, the two types of creative products had the same conformity of variation. Similarly, Experiment 2 found that the uncertainty of the evaluation of the practicability of the innovative product was greater than that of the renovative product. In the evaluation of the novelty of the two kinds of products, the degree of uncertainty was the same.

In summary, both the evaluation of novelty and the practicability of creative products had a conformity effect. In the practicality evaluation of innovative products, it was easier for respondents to follow others, which might be caused by the greater uncertainty in the practical evaluation of innovative products than in that of renovative products. Nevertheless, in the absence of knowledge of new things, blindly following the crowd is likely to have unimaginable consequences. For long-term development, we should fully understand that innovative products are practical and decide what to do the next.

Key words: innovative products, renovative products, practicability, novelty, conformity effect, uncertainty

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