Thomas Kuhn revolutionized how we think of scientific discovery and innovation when he identified that scientific change can occur on a continuum from incremental developments to drastic change in the form of a paradigm shift. In engineering design, both types of scientific change are critical when exploring the solution space. This study investigates this gap under a psychological safety lens through an empirical study with 64 engineering design student teams over the course of a 4- and 8-week design project. Specifically, we sought to identify the role of cognitive style using KAI scores, derived from Kirton’s Adaption-Innovation (A-I) theory, on the paradigm-relatedness of ideas generated by individuals and teams. Our results identify that cognitive style may not have a direct relationship to the paradigm of ideas an individual generates, or a team selects and develops. Similarly, both individual perceptions and team psychological safety do not predict the paradigm of ideas generated or selected in a team. The results instead identify that the availability of ideas in each paradigm is the primary driver for teams selecting a higher ratio of these ideas during concept screening. These results highlight that cognitive style at the individual and team levels may not be of paramount importance for developing paradigm-challenging ideas, and that teams should instead turn their focus to developing strategies to generate more ideas within the paradigm that fits best with the desired goals of the design tasks.