Research team member Ravi Mehta says the study found that a relatively (but not overly) noisy environment can make your brain think more abstractly, and you will then tend to generate more in the way of creative ideas. Sounds good to me!
The researchers tested volunteers in different scenarios, at real-life venues, in places like cafeterias, waiting rooms with televisions on; offices with heavy traffic noise or construction outside. In quiet environments (up to 50 decibels, equivalent to the slight sound of air conditioning), when they had to complete tasks that required creative solutions, participants did not fare so well. But. when they went to another room where the noise reached 70 decibels (the noise of people talking loudly but not shouting), the result was superior. Sound levels exceeding 85 decibels were found to hinder creative work.
Photo credit: flickr.com/23347059 @ N06
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Tags: noise study, jstor, Ravi Mehta, UIllinois Noise Study