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Rather than disproving the myth, in other words, the experiment might instead offer evidence that creativity is an ability that one is born with, or born lacking, hence why information from the environment didn't impact the results at all.It's an interesting experiment, but the author's conclusion cannot possibly follow from the results of it. Guilford was one of the first academic researchers who dared to conduct a study of creativity.He challenged research subjects to connect all nine dots using just four straight lines without lifting their pencils from the page. He has been in three celebrity relationships averaging less than one year each. Although studying creativity is considered a legitimate scientific discipline nowadays, it is still a very young one. One of Guilford’s most famous studies was the nine-dot puzzle.If you have tried solving this puzzle, you can confirm that your first attempts usually involve sketching lines inside the imaginary square.The correct solution, however, requires you to draw lines that extend beyond the area defined by the dots.
No one, that is, before two different research teams—Clarke Burnham with Kenneth Davis, and Joseph Alba with Robert Weisberg—ran another experiment using the same puzzle but a different research procedure.Because they hadn’t, they were obviously not as creative or smart as they had previously thought, and needed to call in creative experts. The nine-dot puzzle and the phrase “thinking outside the box” became metaphors for creativity and spread like wildfire in marketing, management, psychology, the creative arts, engineering, and personal improvement circles.There seemed to be no end to the insights that could be offered under the banner of thinking outside the box.Management consultants in the 1970s and 1980s even used this puzzle when making sales pitches to prospective clients.Because the solution is, in hindsight, deceptively simple, clients tended to admit they should have thought of it themselves.
After all, with one simple yet brilliant experiment, researchers had proven that the conceptual link between thinking outside the box and creativity was a myth. But you will find numerous situations where a creative breakthrough is staring you in the face.