Science Says Having A Messy Room Can Make You More Creative. Whoop!
The Debrief: Proof that being messy can make you super arty and totally badass
Thanks to a new study by the University of Minnesota, we now have proof that being messy is totally A-OK. So spread your mags out, leave your chargers everywhere and get ready for your desk to become a dumping ground – because creativeness, my friends, is just a mess away.
Since we were little, we’ve always been told that being tidy and organised is what’s going to help us succeed and thus the urban legend of ‘being messy means your life is chaos’ was born.
But, according to psychological scientist Kathleen Vohs’ research, being messy by nature can help bring out your imaginative/creative side. Don’t get us wrong, though. We’re not saying being messy can make you the next ‘lyrically brilliant’ Taylor Swift, but it could help you spice up the little things in your life, like the content of your Instagram (maybe help you think outside the coffee shop filters and selfie poses).
So how did they prove it, all you OCD-ers and messy=creative doubters may be wondering?
Well, the study was based on a series of trials, where participants were split into two groups: one group did the trials in a messy room, while the other group did theirs in a tidy one. The tasks they were set included choosing between products and brainstorming ideas on new uses for ping pong balls.
The test found that although both groups came up with the same number of ideas, the messy room group came up with more interesting and fun ideas for ball-usage. And, apparently, those in the cluttered space also tended to choose newer, novel products rather than sticking with reliable existing ones.
Speaking to Psychological Science, which published the study, Vohs said: ‘We’re all exposed to various kinds of settings, such as in our office space, our homes, our cars, even on the internet.
‘Whether you have control over the tidiness of the environment or not, you are exposed to it and our research shows it can affect you.’
OK, so what have we learnt?
Having not only a messy desk, but also a messy room doesn’t reflect a life of disorganisation with no success. Instead, it makes you more creative and adventurous. Yay! But don’t worry if you’re super tidy, creativity is universal.
And let’s face it, it’s not something you can instantly give a person, although apparently, a messy room will help.
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