Want to feel more creative in about three seconds? Research suggests all you have to do to spark your creativity is turn the lights down low.
Photo by Trish Leite.
German researchers conducted six experiments leading to this thesis. In one test, 114 undergraduates were given four creative insight problems in groups with differing light levels (dim, office-level and bright light). The results, Pacific Standard reports:
Those in the dimly lit room solved significantly more problems correctly than those in the brightly lit room. They also felt freer and less inhibited than their intensely illuminated counterparts. Participants in the bright and the conventionally lit rooms did not differ significantly from one another on either scale.
If you can’t control the light levels in your office, don’t worry. The researchers also found that just thinking about being in the dark may be enough to boost creativity. While you’re at it, have a beer in the dim light or while thinking about darkness for even more idea-generating goodness.
Dim Lighting Sparks Creativity [Pacific Standard]