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That is, direct and explicit instructions to think outside the box did not help.That this advice is useless when actually trying to solve a problem involving a real box should effectively have killed off the much widely disseminated—and therefore, much more dangerous—metaphor that out-of-the-box thinking spurs 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.
Speakers, trainers, training program developers, organizational consultants, and university professors all had much to say about the vast benefits of outside-the-box thinking.
It was an appealing and apparently convincing message.
Today many people are familiar with this puzzle and its solution.
In the 1970s, however, very few were even aware of its existence, even though it had been around for almost a century.The second group was told that the solution required the lines to be drawn outside the imaginary box bordering the dot array.In other words, the “trick” was revealed in advance.In other words, the difference could easily be due to what statisticians call sampling error.