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Comparative Analysis Across Sessions

Having looked at Session 2 in some depth, we now compare it with the other sessions to specify the configurations and their various forms. There was a different group of participants in each session, but they were all given the same basic task. Each group used the space and the materials in a different way and came up with very different insights and products. Nevertheless, most of the configurations we observed in Session 2 recurred in the other sessions as well, though not always in the same order. A comparative analysis permits us to hypothesize that—

  • 1. there are definable configurations of participants’ positions and interactions among each other and with materials in a given place and period of time, and they change over the course of a group’s engagement with social creativity;
  • 2. some configurations are associated with greater expansion of space than others;
  • 3. there are patterns in the flow between configurations; and
  • 4. some patterns may be more generative of social creativity than others.

By flow, we mean the change in and order of configurations over time. Generativity in this context refers to the observable collective output.

Table 13.3 provides an overview of the configurations that took shape during all five sessions. It reveals that all the sessions started with Orientation. Sessions 3 and 4 showed the greatest similarity with the flow in Session 2, encompassing Expansion, Creation, and Exhibition. The flows in Sessions 1 and 5 were essentially the same, with a repetition of the Meeting Mode after a phase of Expansion.

A detailed comparison of the configurations in each session would exceed the scope of this chapter, but it is useful to consider some of the similarities and differences a bit more closely.

Table 13.3 Overview of the configurations in all the action experiments

Time

Basis of comparison: Session 2

Session 1

Session 3

Session 4

Session 5

Orientation

Orientation

Orientation

Orientation

Orientation

Meeting

Meeting mode

Expansion

Meeting mode

Meeting mode

mode

Expansion

Expansion

Creation

Expansion

Expansion

Creation

Meeting mode

Exhibition

Creation

Meeting mode

Reflection

Reflection

(Reflection)

Exhibition

Exhibition

Pseudocreation

Rehearsal

 
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