Take a look at your desk – do you see organised piles or strewn papers everywhere?
Each one of us function in a certain way and each type of behaviour has its benefits.
A previous study by the University of Minnesota found that a clean setting led people to be on better conduct like refraining from crime and littering, and generally showing more generosity.
A recent study however was conducted to see if there’s any benefit of the opposite; it was discovered that a messy setting can also provide a valuable outcome. This group of people are generally more creative and dare to try new things.
It was believed that clutter inspires the mind to break free of convention.
For the experiment, the researchers set up two offices with the same view, furniture and amount of sunlight. The only difference is that while one was free of clutter, the other had various things scattered around the room including office supplies and paperwork.
The participants were asked to complete a questionnaire in the offices and offered a chance to donate money to a charity and eat an apple or chocolate. Results showed that the tidy office volunteers were more likely to donate and choose the apple over the chocolate compared to the messy office volunteers. This indicates that a more generous spirit and healthy habit prevailed in one group over the other.
Next, in the test of creativity the two groups were tasked to figure out new ways to use a ping-pong ball. Both had the same number of ideas but those who were at the messier table had more interesting and creative ideas.
So it appears that whether the environment was tidy or unkempt, it made a big difference to one’s behaviour. Now rather than dissing a co-worker for his or her messy table, bear in mind that this could actually help them with their work by taking the unusual route and producing fresh insights.
A touch of clutter can actually aid imagination.
Source: Medical Daily