The : How Constraints Facilitate CreativityGreen Eggs and Ham: How Constraints Facilitate Creativity Hypothesis: How Constraints Facilitate Creativity

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Abstract

Two experiments tested the hypothesis that constraints imposed on a common writing task yield more creative outputs. In the 1st study, participants were asked to include a given noun in a 2-line rhyme for a special occasion. In the 2nd study, they generated their own nouns, which they then had to include in their rhymes. Both studies show a main effect of constraints on creativity and an interaction with order of presentation, which suggests a carryover effect: Mere practice with constraints can stimulate creativity. The Green Eggs and Ham model is put forth to explain the current findings and why Dr. Seuss’s best-seller, written using only 50 words, was such a creative and commercial success.

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