[:en]Distraction as creativity weapon[:es]La distracción como arma de creatividad[:]

[:en]I start distracting. Have a look at THE MOST DANGEROUS WRITING APP  a new online app that tries to make more efficient those people who perform better at the last second, those that deadline the adrenaline rush to finish more efficient and just at the last moment.

That's a Google auto translation. Sorry if there's any mistakes...

According to its creator, what you want is to help you stop waiting for that romantic moment of inspiration where you can do something and throw a “just write” that makes your hair stand on end.

The application works like this:

  1. Asks you what time are you going to take the challenge: 3, 5, 10, 20, 40 or 60 minutes if you want to do in “hardcore” mode.
  2. Write. If you stop writing for 1 second application begins to “beat” in red marking the edges so that if you get to be 5 seconds without typing anything, remove it. Delete all. To start again.
  3. And to prove it, nothing better than this post I’m writing “on the fly” with the app. I have given five minutes to finish and the truth is that the pressure imposed on you makes you raise your heart rate … and if I lose my post … For your peace of mind tell you whether you give space and then to reverse, the application It gives as valid. It lets you think about stress.

I’ll copy this text now, within four seconds remaining to you clear everything and still more calmly.

After copying the text, nothing more reaching five seconds to spare, so I finished my experience …

the most dangerous app captura

Returning to the subject, I will try to connect this app and its purpose with just the opposite (perhaps the inspiration for the app): when the moments of creativity arise from an unforeseen impact cross. Or what is the same, when looking for a solution to a problem you do not find until you connect with other environment that makes you open the frame of reference. This mode of operation of the brain usually have highly creative people who have always and totally open mind.

With this pattern of behavior that psychologists call as “leaky attention” (You can find more info on this reference  “Leaky Attention and Being More Creative”  it is possible that many students of primary and secondary’d just diagnosed as ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However it is something different.

Have “Leaky attention” or distractions has to do with that when a person is focused on a particular task, other information (seemingly irrelevant for this task) is “latent” in his consciousness.

There are studies claiming that this “skill” (let me call it that) possess babies, while looking to keep it is more complicated in adults.

And there are others, like this Zabelina Darya, which concludes with interesting results:

Creativity has been putatively linked to distinct forms of attention, but which aspects of creativity and which components of attention remains unclear. Two experiments examined how divergent thinking and creative achievement relate to visual attention. In both experiments, participants identified target letters (S or H) within hierarchical stimuli (global letters made of local letters), after being cued to either the local or global level. In Experiment 1, participants identified the targets more quickly following valid cues (80 % of trials) than following invalid cues. However, this smaller validity effect was associated with higher divergent thinking, suggesting that divergent thinking was related to quicker overcoming of invalid cues, and thus to flexible attention. Creative achievement was unrelated to the validity effect. Experiment 2 examined whether divergent thinking (or creative achievement) is related to “leaky attention,” so that when cued to one level of a stimulus, some information is still processed, or leaks in, from the non-cued level. In this case, the cued stimulus level always contained a target, and the non-cued level was congruent, neutral, or incongruent with the target. Divergent thinking did not relate to stimulus congruency. In contrast, high creative achievement was related to quicker responses to the congruent than to the incongruent stimuli, suggesting that real-world creative achievement is indeed associated with leaky attention, whereas standard laboratory tests of divergent thinking are not. Together, these results elucidate distinct patterns of attention for different measures of creativity. Specifically, creative achievers may have leaky attention, as suggested by previous literature, whereas divergent thinkers have selective yet flexible attention.

It is curious that one of the conclusions is that the more creative are the challenges, the greater the tendency to get distracted by what was happening around.

What does this leave us? A two conclusions:

  1. At that stage of divergence in creative processes, have “leaky attention” is a competitive advantage. And if you do not, it may be a good idea to expose yourself to the more noise the better (go outside, listening to conversations of others in a bar, on the subway, listening to the radio, music, play anything, partying , browse all daily newspapers and all possible magazines waiting room of your dentist, stroll through Flickr, twitter, Facebook … and any other activity that will generate disparate external inputs (the Japanese, in its extreme version call Chindogu ))
  2. If you have to focus in a task that requires your full attention and have “leaky attention” you have to find tools to help you get away from everything else (see my collection on them), such as this of which I spoke to beginning of the post: “the most dangerous writing app

[:es]Empiezo distrayéndote. Mira esto, es THE MOST DANGEROUS WRITING APP, una nueva app online que trata de hacer más eficientes a esas personas que rinden mejor en el último segundo, aquellos a los que el deadline les sube la adrenalina para terminar más eficiente y justo en el último momento.

Según su creador, lo que busca es ayudar a que dejes de esperar a ese momento romántico de inspiración en el que puedes hacer algo y lanzarte a un “just write” que te pone los pelos de punta.

La aplicación funciona así:

  1. Te pregunta qué tiempo le vas a dar al reto: 3, 5, 10, 20, 40 o 60 minutos y si quieres hacerlo en modo “hardcore”.
  2. A escribir. Si dejas de escribir durante 1 segundo la aplicación comienza a “palpitar” marcando en rojo los bordes de tal modo que si llegas a estar 5 segundos sin escribir nada, lo borra. Borra todo. A empezar de nuevo.

Y para probarla, nada mejor que este mismo post que estoy escribiendo “on the fly” con la app. Me he dado 5 minutos para terminarlo y lo cierto es que es la presión que te impone hace que te suba el ritmo cardíaco… y si pierdo el post… Para vuestra tranquilidad diré que tanto si das al espacio y luego al retroceso, la aplicación lo da por válido. Te deja pensar en tensión.

Voy a copiar este texto ahora, en los cuatro segundos que restan para que se borre todo y sigo con más calma.

Tras copiar el texto, nada más cumplir los cinco segundos de margen, así terminé mi experiencia…

the most dangerous app captura

Volviendo al tema, voy a tratar de conectar esta app y su finalidad con justo todo lo contrario (quizá la inspiración para la app): cuando los momentos de creatividad surgen de un impacto cruzado no previsto. O lo que es lo mismo, cuando buscando una solución a un problema no la encuentras hasta que conectas con otro entorno que te hace abrir el marco de referencia. Este modo de funcionamiento del cerebro lo suelen tener personas altamente creativas que tienen la mente siempre y totalmente abierta.

Con este patrón de comportamiento que los psicólogos llaman como “leaky attention” (Puedes encontrar más info en esta referencia “Leaky Attention and Being More Creative” es posible que muchos alumnos de primaria y secundaria acabaran diagnosticados como TDAH o trastorno por déficit de atención con hiperactividad. Sin embargo es algo diferente.

Tener “Leaky attention”  o distracciones tiene que ver con que cuando una persona esta concentrada en una tarea concreta, otra información (aparentemente irrelevante para esa tarea) sigue “latente” en su consciencia.

Existen estudios que aseguran que esta “habilidad” (dejadme llamarla así) la poseen los bebés, mientras que parece que es más complicado mantenerla en los adultos.

Y hay otros, como este de Darya Zabelina, que concluye con interesantes resultados:

Creativity has been putatively linked to distinct forms of attention, but which aspects of creativity and which components of attention remains unclear. Two experiments examined how divergent thinking and creative achievement relate to visual attention. In both experiments, participants identified target letters (S or H) within hierarchical stimuli (global letters made of local letters), after being cued to either the local or global level. In Experiment 1, participants identified the targets more quickly following valid cues (80 % of trials) than following invalid cues. However, this smaller validity effect was associated with higher divergent thinking, suggesting that divergent thinking was related to quicker overcoming of invalid cues, and thus to flexible attention. Creative achievement was unrelated to the validity effect. Experiment 2 examined whether divergent thinking (or creative achievement) is related to “leaky attention,” so that when cued to one level of a stimulus, some information is still processed, or leaks in, from the non-cued level. In this case, the cued stimulus level always contained a target, and the non-cued level was congruent, neutral, or incongruent with the target. Divergent thinking did not relate to stimulus congruency. In contrast, high creative achievement was related to quicker responses to the congruent than to the incongruent stimuli, suggesting that real-world creative achievement is indeed associated with leaky attention, whereas standard laboratory tests of divergent thinking are not. Together, these results elucidate distinct patterns of attention for different measures of creativity. Specifically, creative achievers may have leaky attention, as suggested by previous literature, whereas divergent thinkers have selective yet flexible attention.

Es curioso que una de las conclusiones sea que cuanto más creativos son los retos, mayor es la tendencia a distraerse por lo que sucedía alrededor.

¿A qué nos lleva esto? A dos conclusiones:

  1. A que en las etapas de divergencia en procesos creativos, tener “leaky attention” es una ventaja competitiva. Y que si no la tienes, quizá sea una buena idea exponerte a cuanto más ruido mejor (salir a la calle, escuchar conversaciones de otros en un bar, en el metro, escuchar la radio, música, jugar a cualquier cosa, salir de fiesta, ojear toda la prensa del día y todas las revistas posibles de la sala de espera de tu dentista, pasearte por Flickr, twitter, Facebook… y cualquier otra actividad que te genere inputs externos dispares (los japoneses, en su versión extrema lo llaman Chindogu))
  2. A que si tienes que focalizarte en una tarea que requiere tu total atención y tienes “leaky attention” has de encontrar herramientas que te ayuden a evadirte de todo lo demás (Ver mi recopilación sobre éstas), como por ejemplo esta de la que hablaba al comienzo del post: “The most dangerous writing app

[:]