"If you are looking to boost your creativity, you will find a lot of tips out there (including my own slightly flippant “10 Steps to Boost Your Creativity” at http://www.jpb.com/creative/creative.php which first went on-line in 1996 and has been reproduced in numerous books, magazines, web pages and PowerPoint slides since). But few of those tips are based on any empirical evidence. Indeed, evidence tends to show your level of creativity is largely the result of how your brain is wired (see for instance the 19 September 2006 issue of Report 103: http://www.jpb.com/report103/archive.php?issue_no=20060919 ) and so cannot be significantly changed.
However, recent research by Lile Jia , Edward R. Hirta and Samuel C. Karpena at Indiana University has shown that there is a very simple and scientifically proven method to boost your creative thinking skills temporarily. You simply need to distance yourself from the problem – even if only in the mind.
The team observed that according to the construal level theory of psychological distance, thoughts which we do not see as being part of the here and now are considered psychologically distant. Moreover, we tend to see such psychologically distant things as being more abstract; while thoughts related to the here and know we perceive as being more concrete.
Lile and the team theorised that the abstract thinking of distant thoughts would be beneficial to creative thinking. To test this, they devised two experiments."
And if you want to know more about the experiments and the results go to http://www.jpb.com/report103/archives.php Look for the 15 September 2009 issue.