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Engineer a fun and colorful toy that moves with this kinetic carousel. Try this quick and easy recipe to make your own slushy on a hot day! Make your own bouncy putty using only two household supplies for a project that is also a great chemistry lesson! Add a PBS KIDS character to your favorite photo with the Photo Factory.

Sid’s Super Fab Lab Join Sid and his fellow scientists in the Super Fab Lab to play and experiment with several different interactive science projects! This Parents Choice Award Winner focuses on science and lets kids explore habitats around the world! Encourage open-ended, imaginative play as children visit familiar places and create stories about their friend Daniel. Wild Kratts App Teaches Young Children How to Care for Animals In this app, kids are charge of feeding, washing, and playing with baby animals. To Encourage Curiosity “when people are curious about something, they learn more, and better. The Benefits of Gardening With Kids Don’t let the idea overwhelm you.

A few containers and soil in a sunny spot will do. Support PBS Your support allows PBS to offer children in your community the most trusted place to explore and discover the big, wonderful world around them: PBS KIDS. About PBS Parents PBS Parents is a trusted resource that’s filled with information on child development and early learning. The PBS Parents Newsletter Find parenting tips, timely articles, kid-friendly recipes, interactive games from PBS KIDS and more! PBS Parents Newsletter Find activities, parenting tips, games from your child’s favorite PBS KIDS programs and more. Does Paid Family Leave Make New Parents Healthier?

Can We Better Predict Whether an Antidepressant Will Work? Do Status Symbols Help You Make New Friends? Enter the terms you wish to search for. Thinking Outside the Box: A Misguided Idea The truth behind the universal, but flawed, catchphrase for creativity. Although studying creativity is considered a legitimate scientific discipline nowadays, it is still a very young one. In the early 1970s, a psychologist named J. Guilford was one of the first academic researchers who dared to conduct a study of creativity.

If you have tried solving this puzzle, you can confirm that your first attempts usually involve sketching lines inside the imaginary square. The correct solution, however, requires you to draw lines that extend beyond the area defined by the dots. 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. Management consultants in the 1970s and 1980s even used this puzzle when making sales pitches to prospective clients. Because the solution is, in hindsight, deceptively simple, clients tended to admit they should have thought of it themselves. There seemed to be no end to the insights that could be offered under the banner of thinking outside the box. Indeed, the concept enjoyed such strong popularity and intuitive appeal that no one bothered to check the facts.

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. 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. Would you like to guess the percentage of the participants in the second group who solved the puzzle correctly? What’s more, in statistical terms, this 5 percent improvement over the subjects of Guilford’s original study is insignificant. In other words, the difference could easily be due to what statisticians call sampling error.

Let’s look a little more closely at these surprising results. Solving this problem requires people to literally think outside the box. 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.

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. Of course, in real life you won’t find boxes. But you will find numerous situations where a creative breakthrough is staring you in the face.