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The first group was given the same instructions as the participants in Guilford’s experiment.
Only 20 percent managed to break out of the illusory confinement and continue their lines in the white space surrounding the dots.
Overnight, it seemed that creativity gurus everywhere were teaching managers how to think outside the box.
Management consultants in the 1970s and 1980s even used this puzzle when making sales pitches to prospective clients.
Yet participants’ performance was not improved even when they were given specific instructions to do so.
That is, direct and explicit instructions to think outside the box did not help.