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He challenged research subjects to connect all nine dots using just four straight lines without lifting their pencils from the page.Today many people are familiar with this puzzle and its solution.

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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?

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.

Let’s look a little more closely at these surprising results.

Solving this problem requires people to literally think outside the box.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.They are much more common than you probably think.*From Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results Copyright 2014 Drew Boyd There are many theories of creativity.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.Overnight, it seemed that creativity gurus everywhere were teaching managers how to think outside the box.

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