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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.
Rather than disproving the myth, in other words, the experiment might instead offer evidence that creativity is an ability that one is born with, or born lacking, hence why information from the environment didn't impact the results at all.
It's an interesting experiment, but the author's conclusion cannot possibly follow from the results of it.
Guilford was one of the first academic researchers who dared to conduct a study of creativity.
He challenged research subjects to connect all nine dots using just four straight lines without lifting their pencils from the page.
That is, direct and explicit instructions to think outside the box did not help.
Most people assume that 60 percent to 90 percent of the group given the clue would solve the puzzle easily. What’s more, in statistical terms, this 5 percent improvement over the subjects of Guilford’s original study is insignificant.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.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.