Washington: Simple tasks that allow the mind to wander may increase creative problem solving, according to a new study. (Agencies)
Researchers in a new study published in the journal Psychological Science designed an experiment in which they asked participants to perform an Unusual Use Task (UUT), listing as many unusual uses for an item as possible.
The participants were then split into four groups one group was asked to perform a demanding task and a second was asked to perform an undemanding task. The third group rested for 12 minutes and a fourth group was given no break.
All participants then performed the Unusual Use Task again. Of the four groups, only the people who performed the undemanding task improved their score on the second UUT test.
Participants in the undemanding task reported greater instances of mind wandering during the task, which suggests that simple tasks that allow the mind to wander may increase creative problem solving, researchers said in a statement.
In another research published in journal Current Directions in Psychological Science, researchers found that while mind wandering might lead to creative insights, involuntary mind wandering can also take us away from the important activities and tasks at hand.
The study discusses the relationships among working memory, task-unrelated thoughts, and task performance. Using both laboratory-based and daily-life assessments, research has shown that people with lower working memory capacity are more likely to mind wander, at least during demanding tasks.
This propensity to mind wandering may partly explain why people with lower working memory capacity are also more likely to make errors.
Washington: Simple tasks that allow the mind to wander may increase creative problem solving, according to a new study.