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The first group was given the same instructions as the participants in Guilford’s experiment.The second group was told that the solution required the lines to be drawn outside the imaginary box bordering the dot array.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.Both teams followed the same protocol of dividing participants into two groups.There seemed to be no end to the insights that could be offered under the banner of thinking outside the box.Speakers, trainers, training program developers, organizational consultants, and university professors all had much to say about the vast benefits of outside-the-box thinking.In other words, the “trick” was revealed in advance.Would you like to guess the percentage of the participants in the second group who solved the puzzle correctly?
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.Let’s look a little more closely at these surprising results.Solving this problem requires people to literally think outside the box.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.
What the latest experiment proves is not that creativity lacks any association to thinking outside-the-box, but that such is not conditioned by acquired knowledge, i.e., environmental concerns.