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.
Overnight, it seemed that creativity gurus everywhere were teaching managers how to think outside the box.
Management consultants in the 1970s and 1980s even used this puzzle when making sales pitches to prospective clients.
The symmetry, the beautiful simplicity of the solution, and the fact that 80 percent of the participants were effectively blinded by the boundaries of the square led Guilford and the readers of his books to leap to the sweeping conclusion that creativity requires you to go outside the box.
The idea went viral (via 1970s-era media and word of mouth, of course).
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Because the solution is, in hindsight, deceptively simple, clients tended to admit they should have thought of it themselves.
Because they hadn’t, they were obviously not as creative or smart as they had previously thought, and needed to call in creative experts. The nine-dot puzzle and the phrase “thinking outside the box” became metaphors for creativity and spread like wildfire in marketing, management, psychology, the creative arts, engineering, and personal improvement circles.
Check back often as the pages will be updated throughout the summer. Undergraduate degrees offered at Southwestern include: Bachelor of Music Education (Instrumental/General), Bachelor of Music Education (Vocal/General), Bachelor of Music (Performance or Music Business), and Bachelor of Music (Music Therapy).
Camp History The Southwestern Oklahoma State University legacy of summer music camps began when the 1st Annual Band Camp was started in 1956 by Southwestern Director of Bands, Dr. Coy, Melvin “Buster” Westmoreland, the Thomas Band Director and Robert Moses, who was the Director of Bands at Hollis. The Graduate Division of the department offers the Master of Music in Performance, the Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy, and the Master of Music in Music Education.