Coffee shops fuel creativity
25 June, 2012
Busy coffee shops are a spur to people’s creativity, according to a new study noted by The Atlantic. The news is good ammunition for café chains that are chasing the working market—people who want to sit with their laptop and a coffee.
But this opportunity is a double-edged sword, since most coffee shop staff will be familiar with the phenomenon of creative types nursing a single drink over a morning or afternoon’s work at a table.
The study from the Journal of Consumer Research looked at the effects of ambient noise on people’s creative cognition, and conducted various experiments to test reactions amid different levels of noise. Researchers found that people generally performed slightly better on creativity tasks with a moderate level of ambient noise compared to quiet—though high levels of noise hurt it.
“Modest background noise… creates enough of a distraction to think more imaginatively,” says the Atlantic of the study. “The next time you’re stumped on a creative challenge, head to a bustling coffee shop, not the library.”
For the full story, see Study of the day: why crowded coffee shops fire up your creativity.