Scientists say biting into something SWEET can help boost your creativity

If you are struggling to complete your crossword or The wordsyou can try to take a bite of something sweet.

Researchers have found that the taste of sweetness can boost creativity.

But it’s not that the brain gets a sweet kick, they said.

The sweet taste effect was specific to creativity and did not improve people’s performance on analytical tasks requiring attention to detail.

The link to creativity is thought to be related to how people associate sweet taste with positive experiences and situations.

According to lead researcher Dr. Lidan Xu, since positive situations are not a threat, they allow our minds to become more open.

If you’re struggling to complete your crossword puzzle or your Wordle, you might want to try taking a bite out of something sweet.

Background music interferes with creativity

The popular belief that music improves brain function and stimulates creativity may be nothing more than a myth, after researchers have found “convincing” evidence to the contrary.

A new study has found that music significantly “disrupts” a variety of brain functions associated with creativity, including verbal ability and problem solving.

However, performing these tasks in a library environment had no performance impact compared to running in silence.

Turning on background music while working or editing can actually slow down creativity and interfere with concentration, contrary to popular belief.

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“When people believe the nature of the situation is positive and there is no threat, they are willing to adopt an exploratory mindset that expands their focus to include new ideas,” said Dr. Xu of the University of North Texas in the US.

In contrast, analytical tasks and tasks that require attention to detail require a narrower and tighter focus, she said.

According to Dr. Xu, it’s not actually necessary to feel the positive mood swing from a sweet taste to boost our creativity — it still acts as a signal to think more inspired because of our history with sweet foods.

“Sweet taste can independently influence creativity due to the associations people have developed as a result of experiencing sweet taste, in addition to the fact that sweet taste affects our mood,” Dr. Xu said.

“Sugary foods are often consumed in positive settings, such as when you’re looking for solace, during celebrations (like a birthday) or family/friend gatherings,” she said.

“Evolutionarily, sweetness is also considered the most pleasant taste in nature and is considered benign.

“In fact, in the old days, people tried to use taste to determine if food was toxic or not, so sweet food signals safety, energy, and non-toxicity.

“Because of these positive associations that people have developed over a long period of time, sweetness has evolved into a positive implicit affective [relating to mood] cue.

Researchers whose findings are published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processesconducted seven different experiments.

The sweet taste effect was specific to creativity and did not improve people's performance on analytical tasks requiring attention to detail.

The sweet taste effect was specific to creativity and did not improve people’s performance on analytical tasks requiring attention to detail.

They included a blind taste test with various tasting liquids to establish that it was the sensory experience of sweetness, and not another taste, that drove creativity. This experiment also tracked participants’ moods and found that sweet taste doesn’t actually have to make people happier in order to have an effect.

Other experiments directly compared the effects of sweet taste on creative and non-creative tasks.

And yet another test showed that ignoring the positive associations people had made with sweet tastes by telling them how unhealthy sweet foods were, weakened the effect of sweet tastes on creativity, showing that it was the association with positivity that was the driving force.

But if you’re reading this thinking about the effect sweet treats have on your waistline, you could instead just imagine one of them: One experiment showed that simply focusing on the idea of ​​a sweet taste versus imagining salty, bitter, and neutral tastes. led to higher creative productivity.

“Of course, there is no doubt that consuming excessive amounts of sugar is unhealthy, and we do not advocate increasing sugar intake,” said Dr. Xu.

“Importantly, our research shows that the impact of sweet taste on creativity can be seen even with the simple taste of a sweet snack, such as one piece of candy, a small cookie, or a piece of dried fruit.

“We also show that the effect occurs without actual consumption,” she said, adding that simply imagining “a sweet taste can contribute to a creative outcome.”

WORKING FROM HOME REDUCES CREATIVITY COMMUNICATION AND TEAM WORK

Working from home reduces creativity, communication and teamwork, a new study by Microsoft researchers has found.

Researchers at the tech giant in Redmond, Washington studied data from more than 61,000 company employees from December 2019, before the lockdown, to June 2020.

They found that working from home (WFH) makes employees “more isolated in how they communicate” and forces them to engage in fewer real-time conversations.

It also made it harder for employees across departments to receive and share new information, which could have implications for the company’s “productivity and innovation.”

On the other hand, working from home meant that employees spent less time in meetings, which is often criticized for being too long and a waste of time.