Thinking Outside the Box
Critical thinking skills are often clouded by assumptions and preconceptions.
The thought occurred to me to put the following test to the family at dinner the other evening. It took the adults at the table a half dozen questions to to climb out of the confines of their self-made intellectual boxes and even then it was a rarity to hear anyone come up with an out-of-the-box answer. If you would be interested in taking the same test, I highly recommend you not look at any of the answers until you’ve had an opportunity to come up with an answer to each of the following. Once that is done, revisit the questions you had difficulty answering and ask yourself if there was an assumption or preconception that prevented you from finding an answer.
1. In which battle did Napoleon die?
2. Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?
3. River Ravi flows in which state?
4. What is the main reason for divorce?
5. What is the main reason for failure?
6. What can you never eat for breakfast?
7. What looks like half an apple?
8. If you throw a red stone into the blue sea what it will become?
9. How can a man go eight days without sleeping ?
10. How can you lift an elephant with one hand?
11. If you had three apples and four oranges in one hand and four apples and three oranges in other hand, what would you have ?
12. If it took eight men ten hours to build a wall, how long would it take four men to build it?
13. How can you drop a raw egg onto a concrete floor without cracking it?
Suggested Out of the Box Answers
1. His last.
2. At the bottom of the page.
6. Lunch or dinner.
7. The other half.
8. It will become wet.
9. No problem, he sleeps at night.
10. You will never find an elephant that has only one hand.
11. Very large hands.
12. No time at all, the wall is already built.
13. Any way you want, concrete floors are very hard to crack.
So how did you do?