Wednesday, March 2

Novelty on behalf of others

An interesting recent study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin:  Polman & Emich (2011) found evidence that when people work on behalf of others, they can think more creatively.

The researchers gave students problems which required creative thinking, and found that they did better when they were asked to solve the problems on behalf of a colleague than for themselves.  For example, they drew more original aliens when asked to draw them for someone else's story than for their own.

This could say a lot about the benefits of collaborative writing, and of course of author-illustrator partnerships.

"According to Evan Polman and Kyle Emich, we're more capable of mental novelty when thinking on behalf of strangers than for ourselves..."  Read more in the BPS Research Digest.

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