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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.For example, there have been some theories such as those of Schopenhauer (see his remarks about Genius) and Freud (see his remarks about Sublimation) that propose creativity is something more like a capacity provided by nature rather than one acquired or learned from the environment.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.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.In other words, the difference could easily be due to what statisticians call sampling error.There seemed to be no end to the insights that could be offered under the banner of thinking outside the box.
Would you like to guess the percentage of the participants in the second group who solved the puzzle correctly?
In the 1970s, however, very few were even aware of its existence, even though it had been around for almost a century.
If you have tried solving this puzzle, you can confirm that your first attempts usually involve sketching lines inside the imaginary square.
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.