The psychology of creativity: Mental models in design teams

Hernan Casakin, Petra Badke-Schaub

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Creativity is a construct with many different facets and various theoretical interlinks to other psychological concepts such as flexibility or fixation (Cardoso and Badke-Schaub, 2011). Hence, there are different approaches to assess, understand and teach creativity in design. This chapter focuses on the role of team mental models in design and discusses the relevance of team sharedness in the process of designing in teams. Departing from theoretical considerations and integrating empirical data, a framework is presented that allows conceptualizing social and cognitive aspects of design problem solving in teams is presented. A major emphasis is set on the relationship between team collaboration, sharedness of mental models, and design creativity. Despite the fact that sharedness of team mental models is considered to play an important role in teams' performance, it is not yet known when, under which circumstances, and what degree the sharedness of design teams' mental models lead to a creative result. For example, visual representations are shown to be powerful processes contributing to gaining shared understanding. Recommendations for supporting sharedness in creative design are suggested for practitioners and educators.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychology of Creativity
Subtitle of host publicationAdvances in Theory, Research and Application
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781628081404
StatePublished - 2013


  • Design creativity
  • Design problem solving
  • Mental model
  • Sharedness
  • Team

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)
  • Psychology(all)


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