This section describes research that has been completed or that falls outside our main applied efforts but is still important and useful.
Creativity, operationalized as "appropriate novelty," is highly valued in the workplace, schools, and even personal life. While many online courses and schools strive to teach this construct, we have investigated whether or not changes to one's local or physical environment can enhance the creative potential one already has within.
Through a series of studies, we have demonstrated that walking can enhance one part of the creative process, specifically coming up with new ideas; walking outside is even more beneficial. This effect held up for a more stringent test of creativity, which involved generating analogies. Walking also seems to help increase everyone's number of creative ideas, regardless of their IQ. The effect of walking does not benefit activities that require more focused, convergent types of thinking, such as when you must choose one correct answer. Future studies will look at the dose-response relationship between walking and creativity, as well as titrate the characteristics of the surrounding environment to find out which aspects are most conducive to creativity enhancement.
- Give your ideas some legs: The positive effect of walking on creative thinking. Oppezzo, M., & Schwartz, D. L. (2014). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition. DOI: 10.1037/a0036577