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He challenged research subjects to connect all nine dots using just four straight lines without lifting their pencils from the page.
Today many people are familiar with this puzzle and its solution.
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.
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.
your conclusion: that the second experiment disproves the theory that thinking outside the box is useful in solving problems, is itself a fallacy.
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.Because the solution is, in hindsight, deceptively simple, clients tended to admit they should have thought of it themselves.