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Daydreaming is good for you

Creativity has always interested me.  In a chapter of my PhD I explored the notion that it might start with comparison and criticism.  I suggested that societies rapidly thrown into extended contact with others might be led from comparison of different ways to criticism of them. That might lead in turn to emulation of some aspects that produced desirable results.  From proposing ways that have been tried elsewhere to proposing ones that have not is the point at which creativity comes into play. You daydream the new idea instead of observing it done elsewhere.

A new study suggests that if we give ourselves the chance to daydream by performing easy tasks, we augment our ability to think up solutions to problems.

The study showed that people who returned to a difficult task after taking a break and doing an easy task boosted their performance by around 40 per cent. But there was little or no improvement for people who did another demanding task during the break, used it to rest or did not have a break at all. Scientists who carried out the study said the results indicate that doing simple tasks that allow us to daydream is key to solving trickier questions playing on our minds.

The lesson is to leaven the complex tasks with simple ones, and it might boost creativity.


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