Creativity is another application for research. The creative process is usually shown in four steps:
In the saturation stage, an individual or a group is given a lot of information about the subject or problem. Research techniques provide this information.
In the incubation stage individuals are left alone to think about the problem or subject. For groups, they can both think about the problem or subject and talk about it with each other. The social technologies can be used for this.
In the ideation stage the individual or group are encouraged to suggest as many ideas as possible within a time frame. For groups, it is expected that the ideas will build on each other. A ‘focus group” type of environment is often used.
In the evaluations stage, there are usually three subtasks – explanation and expansion of the ideas, establishing criteria for evaluation and evaluation. Surveys are most often used for this stage, but the newer predictive market approaches show some promise.