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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.

your conclusion: that the second experiment disproves the theory that thinking outside the box is useful in solving problems, is itself a fallacy.

In the 1970s, however, very few were even aware of its existence, even though it had been around for almost a century.

If you have tried solving this puzzle, you can confirm that your first attempts usually involve sketching lines inside the imaginary square.

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.

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