To Think Outside the Box, It Helps to Have a Box

Literally following metaphors of creative thinking—actually sitting “outside the box” to complete word tasks, for example enhances creative problem-solving, according to a recent study by the University of MichiganRoss School of Business professors Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks and Suntae Kim.

To draw these conclusions, they assembled a team of international researchers who conducted five studies with nearly 400 college students who literally followed metaphors. Participants, for instance, generated ideas while first holding out their left hand and then their right hand to test “on the one hand, then on the other hand.”

The study, which was published in the May issue of the journal Psychological Science, found that physically and psychologically engaging in creative metaphors promotes fluency, flexibility, and originality in problem-solving, Sanchez-Burks has said.

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About Ahmad Ladhani

Teacher, an Accountant and a student :)
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