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The Daily Stat from Harvard Business Review

 


THE DAILY STAT: Harvard Business Review

December 23, 2015

We Underestimate Our Own Ability to Generate Ideas


People consistently underestimate the number of creative ideas they can come up with, found Brian J. Lucas of the Booth School of Business and Loran Nordgren of the Kellogg School of Management. In a study they conducted, 24 students were given 10 minutes to think of dishes to serve at Thanksgiving. Next, the students had to predict how many more ideas they could generate if they kept going for 10 more minutes. Then they were asked to try to generate ideas for another 10 minutes. On average, they predicted they could generate around 10 new ideas if they persisted — but they were actually able to come up with around 15. Several similar follow-up studies produced the same result. The researchers also found that the ideas generated while persisting were, on average, rated more creative than those generated initially. The authors say that we underestimate the benefits of persistence because creative challenges feel difficult.

Source: Giving Up Is the Enemy of Creativity


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