Collaborative creativity is often promoted in higher education. However, studies have indicated that collaborative creativity can entail demotivation and a loss of psychological ownership of the creative product. This is especially true when students do not know each other well and when many students are expected to work together and inspire one another. The purpose of this article is to present, discuss, and investigate a didactic design principle that addresses these challenges. Through a design-based research project, we developed and tested a design in which students collaborated in creative processes through exchanges of presents. In two separate studies, students worked in groups to develop treehouses and superhero camps. The different groups gave presents to one another in the form of creative add-ons for the treehouses and camps. The results indicated that exchanging presents established a productive space in which the students could work together without losing feelings of ownership. Therefore, we propose that the theoretical concept of psychological ownership should be expanded to include feelings of ownership that are neither exclusive nor shared, but rather adopted. Adopted ownership enables creative interactions that neither depend on shared feelings of ownership nor compromise exclusive feelings of ownership. The main contribution of this article is the testing and production of a theory of psychological ownership and collaborative creativity, as well as the validation of specific design principles that promote successful collaboration in creative processes. © 2022 The Author(s)
Translated title of the contributionTræhuse og superhelte
Original languageEnglish
Article number101198
JournalThinking Skills and Creativity
Pages (from-to)Article 101198
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • aesthetics, design and media
  • children and youth
  • research designs, theory and method
  • learning, educational science and teaching
  • creative processes
  • play
  • professional didactics


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