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Broadening your knowledge and experience is an effective way to increase creativity. The more places we look, the more thoughts are likely to be triggered, which increases our ability to think creatively.

Richard Friedman from the University of Maryland and several of his colleagues took this finding a step further to see if the facial expressions associated with widening and narrowing our visual perception affected creativity.

Friedman and his colleagues thought a simple bodily cue of broadening your attention, such as raising your eyebrows, could increase performance on a creative thinking task. Likewise, they thought furrowing your brows, an act associated with narrowing your attention, would have the opposite effect on creativity.

Participants were divided into two groups: one eyebrow raising and one eyebrow furrowing. For two minutes, participants were required to hold their respective facial expressions while completing a creative thinking task: generating as many uses as possible for a pair of scissors.

Upon completion of the task, all ideas were scored on originality and quantity. The eyebrow-raising, attention-broadening group generated significantly more original ideas and a greater quantity of ideas.

So the next time you need to think creatively, simply raise your eyebrows and wait for the ideas to start flowing.


Committing crimes

As we always go on about, exposing yourself to a wide amount of information boosts creativity. Here are some things to tickle your brain this week.

Scientists have recently found that pumpkin skin can kill fungal infections. So now you can put the left over pumpkin from Halloween to good use.

Research from America has shown that people who are accused of a crime and say they are sorry, have a better chance of getting a ‘not guilty’ verdict in court.