The Cross Stimulation Effect

The Cross Stimulation Effect

Remember when you were a teenager, hanging around with your friends on a Friday afternoon, wondering what you were going to do over the weekend?  The conversation typically went like this:

“What are we going to do?”

“I don’t know.  There’s nothing to do.”

“Yeah, there’s nothing to do.”

“Well, we could do this…”

“Yeah!  And then we could do that!”

“And then we can do this other thing!”

What you and your friends exemplified is referred to in psychology as “the cross stimulation effect.”  Ideas from one person tend to trigger ideas from other people.  This phenomenon is a key element in promoting creativity, and it is a prime reason why business and industry has long recognized that permitting people to operate in groups leads to innovation.

You can see the cross stimulation effect operating in full force during Romp n’ Roll classes.  Whether it is toddlers finding all sorts of exciting new ways to climb over and through the equipment after watching one of their classmates execute an imaginative stunt in a Gym class or preschoolers generating a variety of amazing projects in an Art class after observing one of their classmates employ the materials in an amusing and unusual way, like a string of firecrackers on the  Fourth of July, the kids at Romp n’ Roll are constantly stimulating each other’s creative capacities as they exercise their own.

It is incredible what an individual child can do by himself.  And thanks to the cross stimulation effect, it is even more impressive to see what he can do when he is interacting in fun, fascinating, free-form play with his peers.