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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.The correct solution, however, requires you to draw lines that extend beyond the area defined by the dots.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Even though they weren’t instructed to restrain themselves from considering such a solution, they were unable to “see” the white space beyond the square’s boundaries.