# 282 | ResearchBox

ResearchBox # 282 - 'Virtual Communication Curbs Creativity'

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Alt Explanation: Conversation Coordination



  data for analyses convo coord.rtf

Alt Explanation: Group Processes






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  data for analyses.rtf

Alt Explanation: Mimicry






Alt Explanation: Non Verbal Behavior



Alt Explanation: Social Sensitivity





Alt Explanation: Subj Closeness


  data for analyses subj close.rtf

Alt Explanation: Verbal Behavior






Extended Data Figure 7

  Extended Data Figure 7 Code.R














  data for analyses team size.rtf

Extensions: Virtual Group Size Study









Eye Gaze





Eye Gaze Exclusions




  study2_gaze analysis_with exclusions.R

Field Study





Field Study Exclusions







Figure 2

  figure 2.R

Forward Flow













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Lab Experiment










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Room Memory





Supplementary Information section A

  alternative models analysis.R

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Melanie Brucks, Jonathan Levav, 'Virtual communication curbs creative idea generation', Nature

April 11, 2022   (files may not be changed, deleted, or added)

Melanie Brucks (mb4598@columbia.edu)

COVID-19 accelerated a decade-long shift to remote work by normalizing work-from- home on a large scale. Indeed, 75% of U.S. employees in a 2021 survey reported a personal preference for working remotely at least one day per week, and studies estimate that 20% of U.S. workdays will take place at home after the pandemic ends. Here, we examine how this shift away from in-person interaction affects innovation, which relies on collaborative idea generation as the foundation of commercial and scientific progress. In a lab study and a field experiment across five countries (in Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia), we show that videoconferencing inhibits the production of creative ideas. In contrast, when it comes to selecting which idea to pursue, we find no evidence that videoconferencing groups are less effective (and preliminary evidence that they may be more effective) than in-person groups. Departing from prior theories that focus on how oral and written technologies limit the synchronicity and extent of information exchanged, we find that our effects are driven by differences in the physical nature of videoconferencing and in-person interaction. Specifically, using eye-gaze, recall measures, and latent semantic analysis, we demonstrate that videoconferencing hampers idea generation because it focuses communicators on a screen, which prompts narrower cognitive focus. Our results suggest that virtual interaction comes with a cognitive cost for creative idea generation.