Functional Fixedness

In one study, researchers tried to identify ways to help people innovate by enlisting participants in a series of challenges to test their problem-solving skills. 

Subjects trained to break down objects into their parts and think about each part in an abstract way, solved an average of 67% more challenges than the control. 

Innovation relies on our ability to make new connections, but this can prove difficult when  our knowledge of how something is meant to be used gets in the way.

See the full study here :

McCaffrey, T. (2012). Innovation Relies on the Obscure: A Key to Overcoming the Classic Problem of Functional Fixedness. Psychological Science23(3), 215-218.

Want to know more about biases?

Humor Effect

Choice Overload

Affect Heuristic

Projection Bias