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It's an interesting experiment, but the author's conclusion cannot possibly follow from the results of it.your conclusion: that the second experiment disproves the theory that thinking outside the box is useful in solving problems, is itself a fallacy.The correct solution, however, requires you to draw lines that extend beyond the area defined by the dots.At the first stages, all the participants in Guilford’s original study censored their own thinking by limiting the possible solutions to those within the imaginary square (even those who eventually solved the puzzle).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. Guilford was one of the first academic researchers who dared to conduct a study of creativity.The first group was given the same instructions as the participants in Guilford’s experiment.
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?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.It was an appealing and apparently convincing message.Indeed, the concept enjoyed such strong popularity and intuitive appeal that no one bothered to check the facts.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.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.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.Only 20 percent managed to break out of the illusory confinement and continue their lines in the white space surrounding the dots.