Today many people are familiar with this puzzle and its solution.In the 1970s, however, very few were even aware of its existence, even though it had been around for almost a century.If you want to grow your own hydrangea plants, you can produce new …
He challenged research subjects to connect all nine dots using just four straight lines without lifting their pencils from the page.
Because they hadn’t, they were obviously not as creative or smart as they had previously thought, and needed to call in creative experts. The nine-dot puzzle and the phrase “thinking outside the box” became metaphors for creativity and spread like wildfire in marketing, management, psychology, the creative arts, engineering, and personal improvement circles.
There seemed to be no end to the insights that could be offered under the banner of thinking outside the box.
Only 20 percent managed to break out of the illusory confinement and continue their lines in the white space surrounding 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.