I’m right. For once I’m right.
My husband has always scoffed at my claim that I work better against background noise. In college I could never ever study in a library or in my room– too quiet. I always took my textbooks to a coffee house or local pub, not a disco obviously, but a quiet neighborhood hang out.
An article in Science Daily confirms, well, it confirms me!
Too Much or Too Little Noise Turns Off Consumers, Creativity:
“We found that ambient noise is an important antecedent for creative cognition,” Mehta said. “A moderate level of noise not only enhances creative problem-solving but also leads to a greater adoption of innovative products in certain settings.
“In the article, Methta and co-authors Rui (Juliet) Zhu, of the University of British Columbia, and Amar Cheema, of the University of Virginia, explore how a moderate-level of ambient noise (about 70 decibels, equivalent to a passenger car traveling on a highway) enhances performance on creative tasks and increases the likelihood of consumers purchasing innovative products. Similarly, the researchers also studied how a high level of noise (85 decibels, equivalent to traffic noise on a major road) hurts creativity by reducing information processing.
“What we found is that there’s an inverted-U relationship between noise level and creativity,” Mehta said. “It turns out that around 70 decibels is the sweet spot. If you go beyond that, it’s too loud, and the noise starts to negatively affect creativity. It’s the Goldilocks principle — the middle is just right…
“Our findings imply that instead of burying oneself in a quiet room trying to figure out a solution, walking outside of one’s comfort zone and getting into a relatively noisy environment like a cafe may actually trigger the brain to think abstractly, and thus generate creative ideas,” Mehta said.”
Background noise = creative idea generation… I like it!