A new study shows that exposing students to the light of a bare bulb can help them become better problem-solvers.
In comic books and TV cartoons, a glowing light bulb above the head is the universal symbol for a brilliant idea. Turns out, the ‘toons may not be far from the truth in this department: a new study shows that exposing students to the light of a bare bulb can help them become better problem-solvers.
In a study led by Tufts University psychologist Michael Slepian, groups of college students were asked to participate in various academic experiments, in areas including algebra, spatial awareness, and vocabulary skills. Some were tested in a room with an unshaded 25-watt bulb, some were in a room with a shaded 40-watt bulb, and others were in a room with a florescent light.
In every instance, say the researchers, students exposed to the bare 25-watt bulb solved significantly more problems correctly, and faster, than the other subjects. So it seems that if you want the intellect of Thomas Edison, you’d better have one of his inventions in front of you to spark your mind into action.