Thinking Outside the Box, Literally!

“Think outside the box!” we often say when a problem solution eludes us. Suppose we were to take this metaphor literally and sat outside a large cardboard box while problem-solving. Would our solutions be more creative than sitting inside the box? Quite likely! according to a study (Leung et al.) recently published in Psychological Science and summarized by Jeremy Dean in his PsyBlog post “Five Effortless Postures that Foster Creative Thinking.” Creative solutions were also more likely to occur by wandering around randomly rather than walking in a square.

Wandering around randomly at Noweeta Grassland

If you don’t have a large box handy or prefer not to leave your computer, go into Second Life and have your avatar wander around aimlessly. According to Dean, the study found that “those watching the freely wandering avatar came up with more unconventional ideas for gifts than those watching the square-walking avatar,” which, Dean adds, shows that it’s “the state of mind” that matters rather than physically sitting or wandering: “The mere suggestion that someone might adopt these postures was enough to cue a more creative state of mind.”

Nice café at Noweeta Grassland – and there's horseback riding & a balloon ride

Interesting, huh?

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About Lotus Greene

I started the blog called "Educating Lotus" in 2011, shortly after I began exploring the virtual world Second Life. With friends I met there, I migrated my virtual life to World of Warcraft (WoW) and joined an educators' guild. Lotus Greene is my gamer name, one I kept when I started another blog in 2015 called "Not Quite Ignored," which originally focused on the lighter side of news. For a year I didn't blog at all - just didn't get around to it. Lots has changed since then: for one thing I'm now completely retired from teaching; for another, the U.S. political climate has grown darker. I return to blogging with, among other things, the goals of providing "Political News in Brief" every week or so in "Not Quite Ignored" and in "Educating Lotus" occasionally posting screenshots and reflections on aspects of Legion, WoW's most recent and quite exciting expansion.
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