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What the latest experiment proves is not that creativity lacks any association to thinking outside-the-box, but that such is not conditioned by acquired knowledge, i.e., environmental concerns.

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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.

The idea went viral (via 1970s-era media and word of mouth, of course).

Overnight, it seemed that creativity gurus everywhere were teaching managers how to think outside the box.

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. But you will find numerous situations where a creative breakthrough is staring you in the face.

They are much more common than you probably think.*From Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results Copyright 2014 Drew Boyd There are many theories of creativity.

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.

So, take a stroll down memory lane to remember all of our past Word of the Year selections.

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