(Subjects in the study read Franz Kafka, but even stories like Alice in Wonderland have been suggested by psychologists) The conclusion was that the mind is always seeking to make sense of the things that it sees, and surreal/absurd art puts the mind in “overdrive” for a short period while it tries to work out just exactly what it is looking at or reading.
In a more recent study (2012) on creativity, the lead researcher concluded that…
A belief that many people hold, but now there is empirical proof: comparisons with various control groups have shown that a diversifying experience — defined as the active (but not vicarious) involvement in an unusual event — increased cognitive flexibility more than active (or vicarious) involvement in “normal” experiences. The answer isn’t totally clear, but some research points to things like habituation and stagnation as being creativity killers, and these two things are generally “fought” with novel and unique experiences.
According to this research, this may make the problem more accessible and can encourage higher level thinking. Daydream, and then get back to work Although study after study confirms that daydreaming and napping can help with the creative thought process, there is one piece of research that everybody seems to leave out…
One study in particular shows that the less work you’ve done on a problem, the less daydreaming will help you.
This coincides with other research that seems to point that coming up with “decisions” for others often results in more creative answers than when making decisions for oneself.
For instance, in one study on the matter, researchers had individuals perform a variety of creative tasks while varying the psychological distance between the task by having them either perform the tasks while thinking of themselves, or perform the tasks while thinking of others.When thinking about a trip to Paris you are going to take next week, though, you focus on what you are going to wear, how you are going to exchange money, and what you will do when you encounter Parisians who speak no English.In other words: Instead of getting down to the “nitty-gritty” when trying to be creative, you should try to distance yourself from the problem you are solving.According to research surrounding the Construal-level theory of psychological distance, the answer may lie in thinking about the creative process in more “abstract” terms rather than in concrete terms.As an example: When thinking about a trip you might take to Paris next summer, you might focus on how much fun it would be or how great it would be to sit in a café and watch the world go by.When it comes to creativity, one of our biggest concerns is usually how we can be more creative, or come up with better ideas.Research in this area is all over the place, but I’ve gathered some of the most practical studies out there to help you utilize specific techniques that can boost your creativity.If you’re stuck in a creative rut and want to take a break, try including exercise while your brain is subconsciously at work, it may help to speed up your “Aha! But you don’t need to worry about needing a tragic event to be creative!Researchers have also found that creative people are more likely to pursue strange experiences as well, such as this research that reveals that living abroad is linked to creativity in the general population.That means, instead of thinking of a cut-and-dry end goal to certain situations, they sit back and examine the problem in different ways before beginning to work.Here’s a candid example — as a writer who handles content marketing strategy for startups, my “cookie cutter” end goal is something like “write popular articles.” The problem is, if I approach an article with the mindset of, “What can I write that will get a lot of tweets? However, if I step back and examine the problem from another angle, such as: “What sort of articles really resonate with people and capture their interest?