The traditional US business model is to get together with co-workers and kick ideas around, but it turns out that geniuses work alone.

New research shows that people have a harder time coming up with alternative solutions to a problem when they’re with a group than when they’re alone. Researchers demonstrated this by offering participants one kind of soft drink, then asking them what other kinds they might like. People who were alone came up with many more suggestions.

This is good news for companies that place ads on TV shows that are watched in groups, such as the Superbowl, since it means that the people watching their message are less likely to reject it in favor of an alternative.

In, Abigail W. Leonard quotes researcher H. Shanker Krishnan as saying, “When a group gets together, they can miss out on good options.”

So if you’re toiling in a lonely cubicle, don’t despair: a new idea is right around the corner!

(And a great way to reduce that loneliness is to subscribe to a good FREE newsletter).

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