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Noise boosts creativity

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Offline leep
22 Jun 2013, 05:50 PM | Post: #1

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Noise boosts creativity

Apparently the sounds of a coffee shop can help boost your creativity:

Quote: In a series of experiments that looked at the effects of noise on creative thinking, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign had participants brainstorm ideas for new products while they were exposed to varying levels of background noise. Their results, published in The Journal of Consumer Research, found that a level of ambient noise typical of a bustling coffee shop or a television playing in a living room, about 70 decibels, enhanced performance compared with the relative quiet of 50 decibels.

And there's even a website that'll play the sounds for you:


Quote: The site, called Coffitivity, was inspired by recent research showing that the whoosh of espresso machines and caffeinated chatter typical of most coffee shops creates just the right level of background noise to stimulate creativity. The Web site, which is free, plays an ambient coffee shop soundtrack that, according to researchers, helps people concentrate.

Personally, I'm a silence is golden kinda guy.[/url]
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Offline Mads Sorensen Reading A Quiet Life by Natasha Walter
22 Jun 2013, 06:49 PM | Post: #2

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RE: Noise boosts creativity

Silence or pleasant family noise works for me, but I'm not that sensitive generally. I couldn't do the classic, writer on his own in a remote cottage for three months.
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Offline cecilia_writer Reading Murder by the Glass by Lynda Wilcox
22 Jun 2013, 06:55 PM | Post: #3

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RE: Noise boosts creativity

I like having classical or movie music as a background - I find I write faster to Bach but it may not be any better! - but I have written in coffee shops. I didn't think it's the background noise that makes me write more though; it's more that if I make the effort to go out with my netbook and sit in Starbuck's or somewhere I would feel silly if I didn't actually write.
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Offline frogplate Reading The Luck of Han’anga - Thomas Watson
22 Jun 2013, 07:39 PM | Post: #4

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RE: Noise boosts creativity

This post was last modified: 22 Jun 2013 07:39 PM by frogplate.
Coffee shops are fine when it's just background noise, but I find nearby conversations can break through and distract. So I carry discrete noise-blocking ear-buds and have my "writing" playlist on my phone along with a couple of ambient noise apps (Ambiance and Relax Melodies on Android). The "writing" playlist contains baroque music, along with lyric-free new age, downtempo and electronica. Lyrics in a foreign language don't distract in the same way as English - presumably my brain doesn't pick up on keywords and go off at a tangent.
Offline Michael Cargill Reading
22 Jun 2013, 09:41 PM | Post: #5

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RE: Noise boosts creativity

Interesting. I've had that Coffitivity site playing for a while now and it's quite pleasant!
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Offline Paula Jane
23 Jun 2013, 07:38 AM | Post: #6

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RE: Noise boosts creativity

I'm with you Leep, I need silence. I'd love to do the three months in a remote cottage. Smile
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RE: Noise boosts creativity

This post was last modified: 23 Jun 2013 07:56 AM by DavidHaynes.
(22 Jun 2013 06:55 PM)cecilia_writer Wrote: Wrote:  I like having classical or movie music as a background - I find I write faster to Bach but it may not be any better! - but I have written in coffee shops. I didn't think it's the background noise that makes me write more though; it's more that if I make the effort to go out with my netbook and sit in Starbuck's or somewhere I would feel silly if I didn't actually write.
At the moment, with my current work, I'm also enjoying classical music. Particularly this,

https://www.youtube.com...

Atmospheric and apt for the period I'm writing about.

In fact all of the Gnosiennes.

https://www.youtube.com...
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Offline George Reading In The Blood Steve Robinson
23 Jun 2013, 08:36 AM | Post: #8

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RE: Noise boosts creativity

I crave peace and quite when writing, but it is precious commodity these days. In fact, next week I have promised myself a trip to B&Q to get some ear defenders.
Offline Tim_A Reading strictly murder by Lynda Wilcox
23 Jun 2013, 08:57 AM | Post: #9

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RE: Noise boosts creativity

I find coffee shops to be very hit and miss. If somebody on the next table starts a loud conversation and likes the sound of their own voice so much that (a) they want everyone in the shop to hear it and (b) can't shut up for an instant, not even to take a breath (this seems to happen at least 3 visits out of 5), then no, I can't write.

But I've been playing the Coffitivity track while writing this, and it seems quite pleasant. I'll try writing to it later and see how I get on...

Frogplates idea of earplugs might work for the annoying times...
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Offline George Hamilton
23 Jun 2013, 02:20 PM | Post: #10

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RE: Noise boosts creativity

Sometimes I can take some classical or jazz (mainly when plotting and editing), other times I prefer silence.

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