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Do You Work Better in Silence or With Moderate Background Noise?

Living 2012/06/24 21:05:52
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According to a recent study, moderate background noise may actually be more conducive to creative thinking than total silence.

Ravi Mehta, a business administration professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and two of his colleagues explained to TIME:

“For individuals looking for creative solutions to daily problems, such as planning a dinner menu based on limited supplies or generating interesting research topics to study, our findings imply that instead of burying oneself in a quiet room trying to figure out a solution, walking out of one’s comfort zone and getting into a relatively noisy environment (such as a cafe) may trigger the brain to think abstractly, and thus generate creative ideas.”

When trying to solve problems, we often avoid the distraction and disruption of noise. But apparently, a certain degree of “disfluency” or “processing difficulty” is good for us. By disrupting our normal thinking patterns, moderate background noise can spur abstract thinking and creativity.

But don’t go seeking out too much of a good thing. “A high level of noise . . . impairs creativity by reducing the extent of information processing.”

What about you SodaHeads? Do you work better in silence or with moderate background noise?

Read More: http://business.time.com/2012/06/21/need-to-brains...

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  • Lili13 2012/06/25 16:13:02
    Other (please leave a comment)
    Lili13
    loud music in the back =D
  • FatherLiberty 2012/06/25 16:00:49
    With Moderate Background Noise
    FatherLiberty
    I always have talk radio playing while I work. I come in a 8 am. From 8 - 9 I listen to local news. From 9 - 12 its the Alex Jones Show at Prisonplanet.tv or Infowars.com. From 12 - 2 I'll listen to Dori Monson on Seattle local 97.3FM. Then from 2 - 5 I'll stream the Rense Radio Network from their website renseradio.com
  • Metaldane 2012/06/25 16:00:47
    With Moderate Background Noise
    Metaldane
    I can't sleep in silence either I have to have at least some noise I'll wake up if there isn't any comes from being around lots of people most of the time I think.
  • Amy.[: 2012/06/25 15:54:19 (edited)
    With Moderate Background Noise
    Amy.[:
    if i'm in complete silence, i'll probably start talking to myself..
  • XRenX 2012/06/25 15:50:45
    In Silence
    XRenX
    I notice I get distracted no matter what.
  • Dogzebra~PWCM~JLA 2012/06/25 15:26:47
    Other (please leave a comment)
    Dogzebra~PWCM~JLA
    Work = Force X Distance moved. Silence is more conducive to sleep.

    This kind of work is loud and can get you hurt.

    grinding
  • ENCHANTMENTINTHEWIND 2012/06/25 15:11:30
    In Silence
    ENCHANTMENTINTHEWIND
    Silence is a virtue.
  • NinjaZinks 2012/06/25 15:06:01
    With Moderate Background Noise
    NinjaZinks
    ha! with kids there is no such thing a silence but when there in another room it can work out better
  • Sarah 2012/06/25 15:05:46 (edited)
    In Silence
    Sarah
    +1
    only in silence. any kind of noise distracts me from any kind of work that takes some amount of concentration.
  • Sunrise.Ashes 2012/06/25 14:58:28
    With Moderate Background Noise
    Sunrise.Ashes
    I always work with music on, although I do get pretty engrossed in what I'm doing and forget the environment I'm working in completely!
  • ben 2012/06/25 14:52:16
    In Silence
    ben
    +2
    I love to concentrate on what I'm doing without interruptions..I hum to myself a lot so there's my noise factor... lol
  • Michelle 2012/06/25 14:21:28
    Other (please leave a comment)
    Michelle
    "Moderate Background Noise" is annoying, to me. I can't work in an environment where there is a whispered conversation around me, or an unpredictable tapping on a desk. But the hum of a fan doesn't bother me, and instrumental music really helps me work better. But if I had a choice between unpredictable background noise or silence, I'd pick silence.
  • Xerxes 2012/06/25 14:20:38
    Other (please leave a comment)
    Xerxes
    Either way, no worries
  • Nan 2012/06/25 14:15:35
    In Silence
    Nan
    +1
    At work (like when I'm in the back on the weekends binning freight and hardly anyone is around) and at home, I prefer silence if I'm reading.
  • GLaDOS 2012/06/25 14:05:34 (edited)
    Other (please leave a comment)
    GLaDOS
    Either, depending on what I'm doing. When I'm doing something creative, background noise is good.
  • cm 2012/06/25 14:01:23
    With Moderate Background Noise
    cm
    I like the radio or TV as background noise.
  • India 2012/06/25 13:55:20
    With Moderate Background Noise
    India
    i can't stand silence it makes me nervous !!!! some music or a slight noise make me feel alive !!!!
    me gusta meme face
  • Dyonus 2012/06/25 13:47:17
    Other (please leave a comment)
    Dyonus
    If I'm drawing, I like to watch TV or a movie. If I'm reading or something like that, I like music.
  • flyingseaturtle BN 2012/06/25 13:32:50
    Other (please leave a comment)
    flyingseaturtle BN
    It depends on what I want to do. If I want to be logical silence works and if I want to be creative I like listening to music ;-)
  • Grizzle 2012/06/25 13:31:36 (edited)
    Other (please leave a comment)
    Grizzle
    I always have one of these running.
    a href="http://stangzine.com/wp... rel="nofollow" target="_blank">box fan
  • L K 2012/06/25 13:04:53 (edited)
    Other (please leave a comment)
    L K
    +1
    It depends on what I am doing. I like background noise for just about everything but writing. When I am creating a story, a poem, or writing an important note or letter, I turn off sound because I can't focus 100% if there is talking or music on. That is the only thing that requires my full attention. Most other things don't bother me. But, for some reason I seem to have to reach into the depths of my soul for the exact words to use and voila! They come me without distractions. I teach school and during writing class, I create an environment of silence during essay time. However, I play classical music for other learning experiences and that seem to enhance learning quite a bit. Math, for instance works very well with Mozart. For most people, Beethoven, is conducive to writing because of the richness of sound he used. Over the years, his music has proven very inspirational. For me however, I like to write in silence.
  • Blonde Rebellion 2012/06/25 13:04:35
    With Moderate Background Noise
    Blonde Rebellion
    Preferably music
  • Glitter Baby 2012/06/25 11:52:03
    With Moderate Background Noise
    Glitter Baby
    A little music doesn't hurt.
  • Ameera 2012/06/25 11:35:48
    In Silence
    Ameera
    +1
    sometimes a bit of music, depending on what im working on
  • JayLynx 2012/06/25 11:30:41
    Other (please leave a comment)
    JayLynx
    No matter. In silence, with moderate noise/or music I can do my best!
  • Skeptikat 2012/06/25 11:15:41
  • Skeptikat Skeptikat 2012/06/25 11:20:29 (edited)
  • Not-A-RINO 2012/06/25 10:48:05
    Other (please leave a comment)
    Not-A-RINO
    I prefer some noise, but some of depends on what kind of noise it is. For example, I work just fine with music in the background or the mild din of people talking away from me. However, there's always the noise which is most distracting such as very loud music, people arguing, children crying, and a phone constantly ringing.

    I recall a study done many years ago which concluded girls tend to prefer silence when doing homework (or other thinking work) while boys had to have some noise to perform better. Notice if you think their conclusion is right the next time you watch small kids play. The girls will be dressing up their dolls and singing to them; Boys will make noises such as cars crashing or burning rubber, planes roaring overhead and things blowing up.
  • salama_hady 2012/06/25 10:37:52
    Other (please leave a comment)
    salama_hady
    if the subject is intersting, i can concentrate whatever is the environment
    otherwise, I will wait to think in silence
  • beach bum 2012/06/25 10:07:49
    Other (please leave a comment)
    beach bum
    both
  • RachelA7X 2012/06/25 09:25:47
    In Silence
    RachelA7X
    +1
    I always get distracted even if there's a little bit of noise. Even if it's just a car going past.
  • edlie 2012/06/25 09:19:00
    With Moderate Background Noise
    edlie
    music is my life!
  • Mike 2012/06/25 09:09:05
    In Silence
    Mike
    +1
    Concentration is still utmost in max eficiency.
  • Dark Angel AKA Hippiegirl 2012/06/25 08:58:05
    Other (please leave a comment)
    Dark Angel AKA Hippiegirl
    I like the music loud!!!!!!!!!!!!! I work very well with loud music music loud work loud music
  • Feras 2012/06/25 08:48:20
    In Silence
    Feras
    +1
    i am programmer, so i cant work in noisy environment
  • nothingbutthetruth 2012/06/25 08:38:47
    In Silence
    nothingbutthetruth
    +1
    Depends on what I am doing.
  • katywon 2012/06/25 08:37:21
    With Moderate Background Noise
    katywon
    I always have the radio on when I have to concentrate. Music or talk shows but I really do not listen. Its just there.
  • Chanel 2012/06/25 07:23:32
    In Silence
    Chanel
    +1
    In silence...
  • Kaola 2012/06/25 07:13:21
    With Moderate Background Noise
    Kaola
    But it will help me for a shorter time and I end up dozing.

    Am I normal because even in silence to me seems like am in bed.
    DOZING
  • Dave The Canuck 2012/06/25 06:51:41
    In Silence
    Dave The Canuck
    +1
    The more quiet, the better.

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2014/10/31 05:55:04

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