To Spur Creativity, Try a Noisy Café

'Ambient noise' can be helpfully distracting: study

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 22, 2012 1:47 PM CDT

(Newser) – Forget peace and quiet—a little noise can be your friend when it comes to generating ideas, a study finds. Sure, you don't want sirens blaring outside your window, but the "ambient noise" of, say, a hopping coffee shop could actually help you work better. It's distracting, but in a good way: It can prompt "disfluency" in your train of thought that boosts your ability to think abstractly, Time reports.

That "abstract cognition," in turn, heightens creativity, researchers write. Marketers can put the study to use, too, the experts say. If they want people to invest in "new and innovative products," retailers might benefit from adding some ambient noise to the environment.

Busy coffee shops can be great places to get your creative juices going.
Busy coffee shops can be great places to get your creative juices going.   (Shutterstock)
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