Have you ever played Pictionary? I think its a wonderful, hilarious game. Researchers used it in a recent study with surprising results. Subjects were instructed in the game, drawing a given word, i.e. ‘salute’. When they were engaged in the task, researchers watched their brain activity. When the subjects were producing pictures with higher levels of creativity, the area of the brain called the cerebellum lit up, showing its activation. The cerebellum, in the back of the brain, has never before been associated with creativity
. The researchers believe that the quickly timed game forced people to be spontaneous rather than deliberate. Deliberate thinking lights up other parts of the brain, such as those in front, that are concerned with executive control.
Conclusions? Conscious monitoring and volitional control has a negative impact on creativity. Spontaneous improvisation has a positive impact on creativity. Today’s TIP – don’t think so hard when you want to be creative. Start with spontaneity. This fits with other research that has always suggested that people save the heavy thinking, editing, critiquing for later on. An interesting implication is that the creativity tests that businesses use are probably not helping hem to select creative candidates because those tests encourage people to be deliberate. Maybe interviewers ought to get a game of Pictionary for interviews in order to help them with hiring decisions.
Source: Saggar et al Scientific Reports 5 #10894 doi:10.1038
Watkins Glen waterfall.
I loved this study. I’m going to try something like it with my family; maybe you will, too.
In 4 studies, the researchers examined “rediscovery” by asking 135 students to put the following into a time capsule:
- a recent conversation
- a description of their last social event
- an extract from a paper they wrote
- 3 favorite songs
They were also asked, “In 3 months time, how will you feel about these items?” What the researchers found was that people derived much more meaning than they expected from these mundane items. They underestimated how much today’s events would mean down the road. The lead researcher, Zhang who teaches at Harvard Business School noted that “What is now ordinary becomes more extraordinary in the future”. We don’t document the daily, ordinary events in our lives; they don’t have a ton of meaning at the time. This study reminds us NOT TO TAKE THE PRESENT FOR GRANTED.
source: Psychological Science. Zhang et al 2014
A new painting
Lulu visiting; no doubt she wants to borrow socks….
Ancient petroglyphs in Arizona
Good hair day. AKC dog show