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Yet participants’ performance was not improved even when they were given specific instructions to do so.
That is, direct and explicit instructions to think outside the box did not help.
The symmetry, the beautiful simplicity of the solution, and the fact that 80 percent of the participants were effectively blinded by the boundaries of the square led Guilford and the readers of his books to leap to the sweeping conclusion that creativity requires you to go outside the box.
The idea went viral (via 1970s-era media and word of mouth, of course).
your conclusion: that the second experiment disproves the theory that thinking outside the box is useful in solving problems, is itself a fallacy.
it only proved that telling someone to 'think out side the box' is, in most cases, ineffective.
Overnight, it seemed that creativity gurus everywhere were teaching managers how to think outside the box.
Management consultants in the 1970s and 1980s even used this puzzle when making sales pitches to prospective clients.
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. *From Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results Copyright 2014 Drew Boyd There are many theories of creativity.
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.