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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.
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.
Would you like to guess the percentage of the participants in the second group who solved the puzzle correctly?
Most people assume that 60 percent to 90 percent of the group given the clue would solve the puzzle easily. What’s more, in statistical terms, this 5 percent improvement over the subjects of Guilford’s original study is insignificant.
Speakers, trainers, training program developers, organizational consultants, and university professors all had much to say about the vast benefits of outside-the-box thinking.
The first group was given the same instructions as the participants in Guilford’s experiment. Guilford was one of the first academic researchers who dared to conduct a study of creativity.He challenged research subjects to connect all nine dots using just four straight lines without lifting their pencils from the page.In other words, the difference could easily be due to what statisticians call sampling error.
Let’s look a little more closely at these surprising results.
So, take a stroll down memory lane to remember all of our past Word of the Year selections.