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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.
There seemed to be no end to the insights that could be offered under the banner of thinking outside the box.
Speakers, trainers, training program developers, organizational consultants, and university professors all had much to say about the vast benefits of outside-the-box thinking.
No one, that is, before two different research teams—Clarke Burnham with Kenneth Davis, and Joseph Alba with Robert Weisberg—ran another experiment using the same puzzle but a different research procedure.
Both teams followed the same protocol of dividing participants into two groups.
Guilford was one of the first academic researchers who dared to conduct a study of creativity.
Both occur while we sleep, but are entirely different. You wake up and say, “what the heck was that all about? Of course, our deceased loved ones can use virtually anything to bring you signs. Naturally, while you are asleep, they have the ability to communicate to you. Of course, you can hear actual things such as songs, words, and noises that will bring you back to your deceased loved one by way of a connection.
Our deceased loved ones love to make connections with us while we sleep. The key, though, as I discuss in my best selling book “Afterlife” is that there is a major difference between dreams and connections. You might see yourself getting up and going to work on a giant rubber duckie, floating down your street. A bird, dimes and pennies, a street sign, a song on the radio, a feather, repetitive numbers, something you see on the news… If you're loved one's name was George, and you see a street sign that says “George St.” then that is likely a sign from spirit. I felt great.” There are two ways that spirit can make us hear things. So, when you hear your deceased loved one say “I love you” and you spin around startled as to who said that, now you'll know where that came from!
The correct solution, however, requires you to draw lines that extend beyond the area defined by the dots.
At the first stages, all the participants in Guilford’s original study censored their own thinking by limiting the possible solutions to those within the imaginary square (even those who eventually solved the puzzle).