Here are explanations to the quiz questions.

1. If I needed to bang a nail into the wall, and didn’t have a hammer, I would

Answer: Use the bottom of my shoe. Stretchers’ first instinct is to use the resources available to solve problems. They are able to do this because they have low “functional fixedness,” allowing them to find unconventional ways to use resources around them.

2. When trying to complete a project effectively, the best results usually come when you:

Answer: Have a limited budget. Despite popular belief, oftentimes constraints activate our creativity, allowing us to envision new, and often better, ways of completing a task. Unlimited resources often lead to a lot of waste and lack of focus.

3. When trying to innovate, it’s best to have

Answer: A moderate amount of resources. Most people easily recognize that you need some resources to get things done, but fewer people recognize that too many resources is just as bad as too few. Backing up this claim, a study by researchers at Harvard found that having a moderate amount of resources fosters experimentation. But having too many resources leads to just as poor results as having too few.

4. When putting together a team to solve a complex problem, you’re likely to get the best results with

Answer: A team composed by picking names out of a hat. Although we might think that teams with only experts, the most experienced people, or close friends would be high performing, they are often not. Experts tend to discuss knowledge they hold in common with other experts, which minimizes the chance of learning. A team of only experienced members can be too rigid in their thinking. Although having close friends on a team can foster cohesiveness, it can also lead to groupthink. Research shows that random teams usually outperform all of these other types of teams because they have greater diversity of knowledge.

5. If you want to come up with as many uses as possible for a resource (let’s suppose it’s a toothpick), which strategy is likely to be the most effective?

Answer: Draw a picture with three different colors beforehand. Coloring a picture uses a low amount of cognitive energy. Research finds that when we use a low amount of cognitive energy, we allow our mind to wander, which helps generate new ideas for uses of resources for an unrelated task.

6. Which of the following person is least likely to be satisfied with their performance?

Answer: The silver medal winning Olympic athlete. We often evaluate our success in comparison to what other people have. A research study found that silver medalists become disappointed for missing out on a gold medal. Bronze medalists were satisfied with the accomplishment of winning a medal. The 7th place finisher had people come in ahead and behind, something that avoided the bad feeling of silver medalists who missed but were closer to winning the top prize.

7. Frugal people tend to

Answer: Care less what other people think. Research shows that frugal people care less about what other people think, which makes them less susceptible to social comparisons that lead to chasing (an approach that focuses on acquiring resources, and not using those already in hand to do more).

8. To ensure that everyone is actively listening at a meeting, it is advisable to first

Answer: None of these choices. Going around the table, while a seemingly fair way to give everyone a chance to speak, uses a pre-determined speaking order that makes it harder to listen to those who speak immediately before and after. Letting the group leader offer his/her opinion first causes other team members to conform to the leader’s viewpoint. The same conformity effect also happens when asking the most experienced person to speak first.

9. When applying for a job, a job candidate usually sends in a resume to a recruiter. A recruiter favorably evaluates the candidate’s resume before the interview. Which of the following is likely to be true about the job interview?

Answer: The recruiter will gather less helpful information about the candidate. First impressions matter—and can be made even before meeting in person. One study showed that a favorable evaluation of a resume led the recruiter to ask less difficult questions to the candidate to reinforce the recruiter’s initial positive pre-interview impression.

10. Which of the following best describes the role of routines in accomplishing work?

Answer: None of these choices. We often think that routines run on auto-pilot, establish consistency, and rarely change. In reality, research finds that routines are quite dynamic and also help foster change. People often bring their own creativity to routines, which requires being resourceful.

11. Which of the following statements is true about the “home field advantage” during the World Series?

Answer: The home field advantage works in the early game of the series. Playing at home elevates the expectations of players, but for the final game, it can also lead to crippling performance pressure. In high stakes environment, we want supportive fans, but not overly zealous ones expecting perfection.