Heuristics and representational change in two-move matchstick tasks

ÖLLINGER, M., JONES, G. and KNOBLICH, G., 2006. Heuristics and representational change in two-move matchstick tasks. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 2 (4), pp. 239-253. ISSN 1895-1171

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Abstract

Insight problems are problems where the problem solver struggles to find a solution until * aha! * the solution suddenly appears. Two contemporary theories suggest that insight problems are difficult either because problem solvers begin with an incorrect representation of the problem, or that problem solvers apply inappropriate heuristics to the problem. The relative contributions of representational change and inappropriate heuristics on the process of insight problem solving was studied with a task that required the problem solver to move two matchsticks in order to transform an incorrect arithmetic statement into a correct one. Problem solvers (N = 120) worked on two different types of two-move matchstick arithmetic problems that both varied with respect to the effectiveness of heuristics and to the degree of a necessary representational change of the problem representation. A strong influence of representational change on solution rates was found whereas the influence of heuristics had minimal effects on solution rates. That is, the difficulty of insight problems within the two-move matchstick arithmetic domain is governed by the degree of representational change required. A model is presented that details representational change as the necessary condition for ensuring that appropriate heuristics can be applied on the proper problem representation.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Advances in Cognitive Psychology
Creators: Öllinger, M., Jones, G. and Knoblich, G.
Publisher: Vizja Press & IT Ltd
Place of Publication: Warsaw, Poland
Date: 2006
Volume: 2
Number: 4
ISSN: 1895-1171
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:15
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2015 14:29
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10008

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