The other day I was watching TV and this ad came on for glitzy, casino holidays in Oklahoma. My husband said: Cheaters who marry their affair partners, that’s who. Write a column.” You have to understand the Texas perspective here. Think about it — marriage is the promise to exclusively love and honor your partner.
God help the ad executives who were trying their darndest to make Oklahoma look sophisticated and “fun.” Instead of the tornado-afflicted backwater that it actually is. ) Who sets their sights so low that they’d take a casino vacation to Oklahoma? Texans deride Oklahoma as sort of its dim-witted, poor brother to the North. Because it’s cheap, easy, and requires little imagination. “Forsaking all others.” What makes people so utterly disingenuous about monogamy want to get married anyway? So right there, they’re each marrying a person incompatible with fidelity. Oh, but right, they’re SPECIAL and different and super lucky.
In other words, the “trick” was revealed in advance.
Because the solution is, in hindsight, deceptively simple, clients tended to admit they should have thought of it themselves.
Because they hadn’t, they were obviously not as creative or smart as they had previously thought, and needed to call in creative experts. The nine-dot puzzle and the phrase “thinking outside the box” became metaphors for creativity and spread like wildfire in marketing, management, psychology, the creative arts, engineering, and personal improvement circles.
Even though they weren’t instructed to restrain themselves from considering such a solution, they were unable to “see” the white space beyond the square’s boundaries.
Only 20 percent managed to break out of the illusory confinement and continue their lines in the white space surrounding the dots.
Overnight, it seemed that creativity gurus everywhere were teaching managers how to think outside the box.
Management consultants in the 1970s and 1980s even used this puzzle when making sales pitches to prospective clients.
It was an appealing and apparently convincing message.
Indeed, the concept enjoyed such strong popularity and intuitive appeal that no one bothered to check the facts.
The correct solution, however, requires you to draw lines that extend beyond the area defined by the dots.