Jonah Lehrer

is my secret crush.  (hm... not so secret anymore.)

and has this to say about increasing creativity by redecorating your room(!) :

"There's a neat list of variables that reliably (at least reliably in the lab) increase certain forms of creativity. There is, for instance, the blue room effect, and the benefit of spatial distance, and the bonus of living abroad, and the perk of thinking like a 7-year old. Here's a new creative strategy:
Previous research has characterized insight as the product of internal processes, and has thus investigated the cognitive and motivational processes that immediately precede it. In this research, however, we investigate whether insight can be catalyzed by a cultural artifact, an external object imbued with learned meaning. Specifically, we exposed participants to an illuminating lightbulb - an iconic image of insight - prior to or during insight problem-solving. Across four studies, exposing participants to an illuminating lightbulb primed concepts associated with achieving an insight, and enhanced insight problem-solving in three different domains (spatial, verbal, and mathematical), but did not enhance general (non-insight) problem-solving.
So for those taking notes at home: if your work involves moments of insight, it's probably best to work in a bright blue room, surrounded by pictures of lightbulbs and little kids."

well, my room is blue (not very bright) and definitely has pictures of kids but no light bulbs yet.  well, i love to have an excuse to redecorate!

his blog is called the frontal cortex.


  1. I don't think I'm smart enough for this - I read your post a couple of times - because, hey, this is your "secret" crush - but I just cannot get excited about it - I'm sorry.
    I love you though!

  2. did you look at his picture?

    also, how can you not get excited about a study that showed that looking at a photograph of a light bulb made people more insightful?! it's crazy and amazing.
    or maybe i'm a weird sort of person that gets excited about scientific studies. hm... probably.

  3. no, i get it - it is cool - i like the part about the lightbulb and the blue room and pictures of babies - it's just hard for me to read it.....
    i wish i was a better reader of scientific studies