Hans Villarica of The Atlantic reports on the findings of recent research “… coffee shops make you more creative.  Yes, caffeine helps.  But new research shows that the moderate noise level in cafes also perks up your creative cognition.” 

Hans Villarica writes for and produces The Atlantic‘s Health channel. His work has appeared in TIME, People Asia, and Fast Company.


Why Crowded Coffee Shops Fire Up Your Creativity.

The problem : To optimize creativity, how quiet or noisy should your workspace be?

Check out this helpful chart on typical noise levels.

The conclusion:  The next time you’re stumped on a creative challenge, head to a bustling coffee shop, not the library.  As the researchers write in their paper, “[I]nstead 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 may trigger the brain to think abstractly, and thus generate creative ideas.”

(Source: “Is Noise Always Bad? Exploring the Effects of Ambient Noise on Creative Cognition” published in the Journal of Consumer Research.)