IDEA #83

Getting creative? Get distracted

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Our most creative ideas come when we are distracted.

What you need to know

Ap Dijksterhuis and Teun Meurs of the University of Amsterdam sought to explore the impact of ‘incubation’ – defined as ‘the stage during which one refrains from conscious thought and during which the unconscious is at work’ – on creativity. The researchers ran three experiments to this end. In each experiment they grouped participants into three different conditions: a) where immediate responses were demanded to the questions posed in the experiments (called the ‘immediate condition’ and treated as the baseline); b) where ...

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