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That this advice is useless when actually trying to solve a problem involving a real box should effectively have killed off the much widely disseminated—and therefore, much more dangerous—metaphor that out-of-the-box thinking spurs creativity.After all, with one simple yet brilliant experiment, researchers had proven that the conceptual link between thinking outside the box and creativity was a myth. But you will find numerous situations where a creative breakthrough is staring you in the face.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.
your conclusion: that the second experiment disproves the theory that thinking outside the box is useful in solving problems, is itself a fallacy.
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.
Let’s look a little more closely at these surprising results.
Solving this problem requires people to literally think outside the box.
In other words, the “trick” was revealed in advance.