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It's an interesting experiment, but the author's conclusion cannot possibly follow from the results of it.your conclusion: that the second experiment disproves the theory that thinking outside the box is useful in solving problems, is itself a fallacy.The first group was given the same instructions as the participants in Guilford’s experiment.The second group was told that the solution required the lines to be drawn outside the imaginary box bordering the dot array.Yet participants’ performance was not improved even when they were given specific instructions to do so.
Speakers, trainers, training program developers, organizational consultants, and university professors all had much to say about the vast benefits of outside-the-box thinking.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.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.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.The symmetry, the beautiful simplicity of the solution, and the fact that 80 percent of the participants were effectively blinded by the boundaries of the square led Guilford and the readers of his books to leap to the sweeping conclusion that creativity requires you to go outside the box.The idea went viral (via 1970s-era media and word of mouth, of course).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.