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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.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.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.He challenged research subjects to connect all nine dots using just four straight lines without lifting their pencils from the page.
If you have tried solving this puzzle, you can confirm that your first attempts usually involve sketching lines inside the imaginary square.In other words, the “trick” was revealed in advance.Would you like to guess the percentage of the participants in the second group who solved the puzzle correctly?No one, that is, before two different research teams—Clarke Burnham with Kenneth Davis, and Joseph Alba with Robert Weisberg—ran another experiment using the same puzzle but a different research procedure.Both teams followed the same protocol of dividing participants into two groups.