The illustrations that follow were produced during the first trial group of the research reported in the paper Psychedelic Agents in Creative Problem-solving:

A Pilot Study by Willis Harman, Robert McKim, Robert Mogar, James Fadiman, and Myron Stolaroff. Psychological Reports, 1966,19, 211-227.

The procedure is described under the section METHOD starting on page 215 of the paper. The following is the personal report of the commercial artist whose work is illustrated below. It is taken from Appendix C, page C-1, of CREATIVITY PROJECT Progress Report No. 1, The Institute for Psychedelic Research of San Francisco State University. (For explanation and brochure of this Institute, click here).

(a) Commercial artist (Problem: Design of a letterhead, after several presentation sketches had been rejected by the customer.)"I decided to drop (my old) line of thinking and to give it a new try. The 'mystery' of this easy dismissal and forgetting did not strike me until later in the afternoon, because I had many times before this session indulged in this line of thinking and had managed to work up the whole thing into an airtight deadlock, and I had been unable to break, much less dismiss, this deadlock. The miracle is that it came so easy and natural.

I decided to go ahead with it, without worrying about what would come out of it or whether anybody is going to like it or not. I started with modifying the original idea of the presentation sketch a little.

After a couple of those I dismissed the original idea entirely, and started to approach the graphic problem radically differently. That's when things began to happen. All kinds of different possibilities began to come to mind, and I started to quickly sketch them out on the blank lettersized sheets that I had brought with me for that purpose. Each new sketch would suggest other possibilities and new ideas. I began to work fast, almost feverishly, to keep up with the flow of ideas. And the feeling during this profuse production was one of joy and exuberance: I had a ball! It was the pure fun of doing, inventing, creating and playing. There was no fear, no worry, no sense of reputation and competition, no envy; none of these things which in varying degrees have always been present in my work. There was just the joy of doing." (This person became so delighted with his heightened capacity for idea-production that he chose to defer idea-selection until the next day, when he selected and developed for presentation twelve of the 26 original conceptions. One of these was later accepted by the client.)

As the artist stated, after his initial proposals for the revised stationary were rejected, he developed a block and was unable to produce any further designs for two weeks. The original stationary heading which was to be replaced is shown here:


In the creativity trial, he estimates that he was producing a new design every one to two minutes. His designs were in short-hand form which he himself could readily recognize as complete designs. Twelve of the 26 designs produced were the following day reduced to finished form. Shown below are four of the original sketchs, side by side with the finished forms:




 In order to see the diversity of approach, all the remaining finished designs are presented:

The last two were judged by the client to be the best, and were happily accepted.

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