Yup, you read the title right. Einstein once famously said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” Reading his quote made us wonder if there is any conclusive evidence to prove that messy interiors work. It turns out that there has actually been research done on this. So we are sharing the findings with you to help you win the argument with your mom or spouse who might be after your life to clean up your space! You are very welcome in advance!
A study by a team of researchers at the University of Minnesota, tested the effects of different kinds of working environments on human behaviour.
They invited two separate groups of people to take part in a “Consumer Choice Study.” The two groups were sent to two different rooms: room A and room B. While room A was kept tidy, room B was kept messy. The participants in each room were give two menus of fruit smoothies; one menu had classic smoothies while the other menu had new smoothies. It was observed that most of the participants in the neat room (room A) chose classics, while the participants in the messy room (room B) chose new smoothies.
Hence, it was observed that disorderly environments seemed to inspire people to move out of their comfort zone and take risks. In contrast, orderly environments encouraged people to play safe.
But, the researchers didn’t find it well enough to declare that messiness fosters creativity. So, this time they tried an another experiment. They used the same tidy and messy rooms, only this time, they asked subjects to propose as many different uses for ping pong balls as possible. The researchers had a team of independent judges rate the ideas based on the level of creativity. The people in the messy room offered up five times more creative ideas, than those in the neat environment, thus establishing a correlation between mess and creativity.
We are not promoting messiness here, but in case you are having a hard time being creative, try cluttering your desk, and who know maybe it will spark the touch of genius you’ve been looking for!