In my last post, I wrote about the well-known nine dot puzzle which inspired the phrase “think outside the box” and some its variations.
Developed by psychologist Norman Maier, the instructions for the nine dot puzzle are to draw four continuous unbroken lines through nine dots. In other words, no lifting the pencil. The clue to solving the puzzle is to think outside the visual box of the nine dots. Many people can’t solve the puzzle because, according to Maier’s research, they apply assumptions, perceived limitations and self-restrictions to limit their problem-solving abilities.
Here’s the most common answer to the nine dot puzzle.
There’s a less common, but equally appropriate, solution to the puzzle.
A common variation of the nine dot puzzle is to draw a figure using six lines which make four triangles. The key is to look at the solution as three dimensional, as if it’s a pyramid with the fourth triangle as its base.