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Exposing people to concepts created by others can inspire novel combinations of concepts, or conversely, lead people to simply emulate others. But how does the type of exposure affect creative outcomes in online collaboration where dyads interact for short tasks? In this paper, we study the creative outcomes of dyads working together online on a slogan writing task under different types of interactions: providing both the partner’s idea and their explanation for that idea, enabling synchronous chat, and only exposing a person to their partner’s idea without any explanation. We measure the creative outcome and define text-similarity-based metrics (e.g., mimicry, convergence, and fixation) to disentangle the interactions. The results show that having partners explain their ideas leads to largest improvement in creative outcome. In contrast, participants who chatted were more likely to reach convergence on their final slogans. Our work sheds lights on how different online interactions may create trade-offs in creative collaborations.


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