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CINCINNATI - The next time you are called out for daydreaming just say that you're working on your creative side.
Psychological Science developed a study researching the links between daydreaming and creativeness. The results concluded that taking a break to let your mind run free may actually be beneficial.
A link between creative problem-solving and daydreaming was found by researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In their study, they had participants engage in an "unusual use task"— in which they would take an object and try to figure out as many ways as possible to use it.
The participants in the study were then assigned to do one of four things before performing the "unusual use task" again: perform a task that was demanding (would more than likely take up all of their attention); perform a task that was undemanding (would not necessarily take up all of their attention); take 12 minutes to unwind during a break; or move straight back to the exercise again without a break or new task.
Researchers discovered that there was only one group who performed better on the "unusual use task" the second time compared to the original time: Participants who were involved in the undemanding task. The participants that engaged in the undemanding task also stated that they had high levels of daydreaming during the time they were completing the assignment. Researchers deem that this act of inattention actually helped to higher their scores on the creative challenge.
"These data suggest that engaging in simple external tasks that allow the mind to wander may facilitate creative problem solving," researchers involved in the study said in a Huffington Post article .
A study in the same journal recently showed that letting your mind wander could be good for your working memory as well.
The next time you find your mind slipping into another world during work tasks or school lectures, consider that your creative side is just trying to improve itself.
To read the full study, go to http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/08/31/0956797612446024.abstract .
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