Creativity is influenced by air quality, says study with LEGO

A recent article published in the journal Scientific Reports explains how air quality It can interfere with creativity, especially when it involves gases released by products such as pesticides, perfumes, detergents, sprays, paints and aerosols.

The study carried out by the team at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University suggests that a 72% reduction in volatile organic compounds in the air can result in a 12% increase in a student’s creativity.

The research is part of a project that evaluates the impact of air on people’s cognitive performance. The work consists of testing different air filter technologies in tropical climate conditions, in order to define clean air solutions with energy optimization.

Serious effect

To what extent does air pollution harm a person’s creativity? – Photo: Internet/Reproduction

The conclusions of the study, so far, may reflect on the routine of industries and companies that depend on creativity of people to carry out work.

In the case of artists who work with paints and thinners, for example, it is necessary to think better about adequate ventilation conditions in the workplace, as such products release high levels of volatile organic compounds into the air.

“The findings also indicate that small adjustments in the office, such as reducing the use of aroma diffusers or ensuring adequate ventilation, can positively impact employees and their productivity,” recommend the researchers.

Using LEGO to evaluate

To measure the relationship between creative potential and air quality, scientists asked participants to express their ideas through 3D models, built with pieces of LEGO.

Each person had to solve a challenge by creating their own model, and then had to describe the solution found through text.

To facilitate the quantitative assessment of creativity, scholars created a scoring system for the challenge.

The idea was to observe the convergent thinking process, that is, one that focuses on seeking a single and exact answer to a specific problem.

During the process, the air quality in the place where the experiment was carried out was changed, with different combinations of filters and variations in pollutant levels.

The understanding that air is capable of influencing human cognition had already been mentioned in previous studies. For example, the relationship between extreme pollution and dementia has already been proven, especially among the elderly.

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