How A Simple Arm Movement Can Increase Your Creativity In Just 10 Seconds

How A Simple Arm Movement Can Increase Your Creativity In Just 10 Seconds

Would you like to solve problems more effectively?  Or just come up with more creative ideas on demand?

Research on how body movements affect the mind can show you how physical actions can make you much more creative.

In one study published in 2002 by Friedman and Forster, researchers asked participants to complete various creativity tasks.  One group was asked to put their right hand under the table and pull it towards them gently.  The other group was asked to place their right hand on top of the table and push down.

The group that was asked to pull the table towards them did much better on the creativity tasks as scored by independent reviewers than the “push” group.

Why?

Because the mind interprets pulling actions as meaning that a situation is safe and safety triggers creative thinking processes.  Pushing actions signal that a situation is not safe and triggers analytic processes.

This result has been validated in many other experiments over the last 15 years.

So how can you use this idea to help yourself?

The next time you need to produce creative ideas, try taking one hand and pulling your desk towards you for a few moments.  And when you want to think more analytically try pushing things away from you.

These simple actions have been shown over and over again to affect how you think.

So when will you apply this information?  Leave a comment below telling when, where and how you will experiment with the idea above.

Reference to study above:

The influence of approach and avoidance motor actions on creativity.

Friedman, R. & Forster, J. (2002) The influence of approach and avoidance motor actions on creative cognition. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 38, 41–55

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