Positive computing to enhance creativity

Creativity thrives when people experience positive emotions. How to design a technology that can make use of this potential, is still an unanswered question. In this research, I propose one approach to this problem that relies on hacking into the cognitive appraisal processes that form part of positive emotions. To demonstrate this approach I have conceived, made, and evaluated a novel interactive system driven by natural language processing technology that influences an individual’s appraisals of their own idea generation processes by providing real-time and believable feedback about the originality of their ideas. The system can be used to manipulate this feedback to make the user’s ideas appear more or less original. Over two studies I show that the developed interactive system can be used cause positive and negative emotions intentionally in people, and be used to determine the intensity of these positive and negative emotions with a relatively high degree of precision. The system is shown to effectively hack into the emotion-creativity link, and help people to get more out of their own creative capabilities.

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