ERIC Number: EJ1057296
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Give Your Ideas Some Legs: The Positive Effect of Walking on Creative Thinking
Oppezzo, Marily; Schwartz, Daniel L.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v40 n4 p1142-1152 Jul 2014
Four experiments demonstrate that walking boosts creative ideation in real time and shortly after. In Experiment 1, while seated and then when walking on a treadmill, adults completed Guilford's alternate uses (GAU) test of creative divergent thinking and the compound remote associates (CRA) test of convergent thinking. Walking increased 81% of participants' creativity on the GAU, but only increased 23% of participants' scores for the CRA. In Experiment 2, participants completed the GAU when seated and then walking, when walking and then seated, or when seated twice. Again, walking led to higher GAU scores. Moreover, when seated after walking, participants exhibited a residual creative boost. Experiment 3 generalized the prior effects to outdoor walking. Experiment 4 tested the effect of walking on creative analogy generation. Participants sat inside, walked on a treadmill inside, walked outside, or were rolled outside in a wheelchair. Walking outside produced the most novel and highest quality analogies. The effects of outdoor stimulation and walking were separable. Walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity.
Descriptors: Creative Thinking, Experimental Psychology, Physical Activities, Motion, Correlation, Cognitive Processes, Creativity, Scores, Generalization, Environmental Influences, Undergraduate Students, Two Year College Students, Equipment, Statistical Analysis, Private Colleges, Adults, Prompting, Logical Thinking, Novelty (Stimulus Dimension), Executive Function, Responses, Coding
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A