Investigating the effect of mental set on insight problem solving

Öllinger, M., Jones, G. ORCID: 0000-0003-3867-9947 and Knoblich, G., 2008. Investigating the effect of mental set on insight problem solving. Experimental Psychology, 55 (4), pp. 269-282.

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Mental set is the tendency to solve certain problems in a fixed way based on previous solutions to similar problems. The moment of insight occurs when a problem cannot be solved using solution methods suggested by prior experience and the problem solver suddenly realizes that the solution requires different solution methods. Mental set and insight have often been linked together and yet no attempt thus far has systematically examined the interplay between the two. Three experiments are presented that examine the extent to which sets of non-insight and insight problems affect the subsequent solutions of insight test problems. The results indicate a subtle interplay between mental set and insight: when the set involves non-insight problems, no mental set effects are shown for the insight test problems, yet when the set involves insight problems, both facilitation and inhibition can be seen depending on the type of insight problem presented in the set. A two process model is detailed to explain these findings that combines the representational change mechanism with that of proceduralisation.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Experimental Psychology
Creators: Öllinger, M., Jones, G. and Knoblich, G.
Publisher: Hogrefe & Huber
Date: 2008
Volume: 55
Number: 4
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 11:07
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:49

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