The Psychology of Messiness: How Disorder Can Make You More Creative

Posted on April 10, 2014

Last week, at the Yale School of Management's Art, Mind + Markets conference, Kathleen Vohs, a marketing professor at the University of Minnesota with an extensive psychology background, gave a talk called "Effect of Visual Order on Creativity." Her main point - which she and her colleagues have demonstrated in experiment after experiment - is that you get a creativity boost when you work in a messy space.

Last year, she described her work in the New York Times. In one experiment, she assigned 48 individuals to messy or neat rooms, and asked them "to imagine that a Ping-Pong ball factory needed to think of new uses for Ping-Pong balls, and to write down as many ideas as they could." Independent judges rated the answers for creativity.

When the responses were analyzed, it was found that the subjects in both types of rooms came up with about the same number of ideas, which meant they put about the same effort into the task. Nonetheless, the messy room subjects were more creative, as we expected.

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Source material from Inc

Mental Health News