How the Hum of a Coffee Shop Can Boost Creativity

The New York Times:

Pulling up a seat at your favorite coffee shop may be the most efficient way to write a paper or finish a work project. But now a new Web site lets you bring the coffee shop to your cubicle.

The site, called Coffitivity, was inspired by recent research showing that the whoosh of espresso machines and caffeinated chatter typical of most coffee shops creates just the right level of background noise to stimulate creativity. The Web site, which is free, plays an ambient coffee shop soundtrack that, according to researchers, helps people concentrate.

Ravi Mehta, an assistant professor of business administration at the university who led the research, said that extreme quiet tends to sharpen your focus, which can prevent you from thinking in the abstract.

“This is why if you’re too focused on a problem and you’re not able to solve it,” Dr. Mehta said, “you leave it for some time and then come back to it and you get the solution.”

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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