When you’re presented with a particularly thorny challenge at work, “think outside the box” is a common piece of advice. But figuring out how to do that can be nearly as tough as figuring out the answer you’re seeking in the first place. Now, science offers a solution to help anyone tap into their creative thought process to solve problems.
“Having individuals think back on a recent experience in a very detailed way, reflecting on the people, setting, and actions of the experience,” is the key to unlocking creative problem solving, says Kevin Madore, a psychology Ph.D candidate at Harvard University and the lead author of a new study in Psychological Science that looks at how “episodic memory,” as the researchers call it, contributes to a person’s creative problem-solving ability.
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