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Pretending You’re Creative Will Make You More Creative, Study Says

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Being more creative may be as easy as pretending you are. Creativity, that abstract muse, is increasingly thought of as essential not just to artistic pursuits but also to business success. Who doesn’t want to be more creative? Or, conversely, who wants to be more formulaic and rote?

A new study by researchers at the University of Maryland indicates that, much like how stereotypes about women being bad at math can lead to women performing worse on math tests, treating yourself like a stereotypical creative genius can lead to more creative thinking. In two different experiments detailed in PLOS ONE, the researchers primed more than 200 undergrads majoring in several different forms of art or science to imagine themselves as either a stereotypically creative professional (“an eccentric poet”) or a stereotypically stodgy one (“a rigid librarian”). The students then completed the Uses of Objects Task, a standard psychology test to measure creativity (as you might guess, you brainstorm various uses of objects). A control group completed the task without being primed to imagine themselves as having any specific characteristics or jobs.

The researchers found that the ability to think outside the box isn’t a static personality trait. It’s malleable, and influenced by stereotypes. Students who imagined themselves as eccentric poets were able to think of more (and more original) uses for objects like bricks than students in the control group. Students who imagined themselves as rigid librarians came up with significantly fewer creative uses than the control group. Not only did thinking of themselves as eccentric give students a creative boost, but thinking of themselves as rigid became an impediment to creativity.

What a good excuse to declare yourself an artist and act super wacky.

[h/t Pacific Standard]

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8 City Maps Rendered in the Styles of Famous Artists
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Vincent van Gogh once famously said, "I dream my painting and I paint my dream." If at some point in his career he had dreamed up a map of Amsterdam, where he lived and derived much of his inspiration from, it may have looked something like the one below.

In a blog post from March, Credit Card Compare selected eight cities around the world and illustrated what their maps might look like if they had been created by the famous artists who have roots there.

The Andy Warhol-inspired map of New York City, for instance, is awash with primary colors, and the icons representing notable landmarks are rendered in his famous Pop Art style. Although Warhol grew up in Pittsburgh, he spent much of his career working in the Big Apple at his studio, dubbed "The Factory."

Another iconic and irreverent artist, Banksy, is the inspiration behind London's map. Considering that the public doesn't know Banksy's true identity, he remains something of an enigma. His street art, however, is recognizable around the world and commands exorbitant prices at auction. In an ode to urban art, clouds of spray paint and icons that are a bit rough around the edges adorn this map of England's capital.

For more art-inspired city maps, scroll through the photos below.

[h/t Credit Card Compare]

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Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
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There’s a Ghost Hiding in This Illustration—Can You Find It?
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

A hidden image illustration by Gergely Dudás, a.k.a. Dudolf
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

Gergely Dudás is at it again. The Hungarian illustrator, who is known to his fans as “Dudolf,” has spent the past several years delighting the internet with his hidden image illustrations, going back to the time he hid a single panda bear in a sea of snowmen in 2015. In the years since, he has played optical tricks with a variety of other figures, including sheep and Santa Claus and hearts and snails. For his latest brainteaser, which he posted to both his Facebook page and his blog, Dudolf is asking fans to find a pet ghost named Sheet in a field of white bunny rabbits.

As we’ve learned from his past creations, what makes this hidden image difficult to find is that it looks so similar to the objects surrounding it that our brains just sort of group it in as being “the same.” So you’d better concentrate.

If you’ve scanned the landscape again and again and can’t find Sheet to save your life, go ahead and click here to see where he’s hiding.

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