Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 7 June 2010

Ineffability of Insight II

Schooler & Melcher[1995]. Ineffability of Insight, pp 97-133 in The Creative Cognitive Approach, Smith et al – Editors

Reconceptualizing Insight Constructs Using Current Theories of Cognition

  •  Restructuring
    • p104: “..insight solutions may require shifting to a new problem space (Ohlsson 1984)
    • Mechanisms:
      • memory search for new problem space,
      • Gestalt view of the importance of perception [“suddenness … akin to figure ground reversals”],
      • memory search or perceptual reencoding may be involved.
  • Context Induced Mental Set
    • adhere to false assumptions – “fixedness is conceptualized as excessive activation of inappropriate operators”
    • incubation dampens activation – “main benefit of incubation period was to enable the delay of activation…”
  • Unconscious Idea Recombination
    • “unconscious search and combinations are viewed as consequences of spreading activation”
  • Constraints of Language
    • Simon “… There is no a priori reason, then, to assign the problem-solving process to the conscious rather than the unconsciousness.” yeah… no s**t.
    • Still, most don’t take the leap that language interferes… because they suck. [Happy note taking today]

Empirical Demonstrations of the Disruptive Effects of Language

  • Face recognition
  • taste judgements
  • aesthetic evaluations (Wilson et al. 1993)
  • visual imagery
  • implicit learning (Fallshore and Schooler 1993)
  • Schooler, Olsshon, Brooks 1993 – insight problem solving
    • p106: “concurrent verbalization markedly impaired insight problem solving while having no effect on the solving of analytical [noninsight]problems of comparable difficulty.”
  • p109: evidence emerged of relian[ce] on nonreportable  processes from careful examination of the contents of subject’s protocols

A Comparison of Insight and Analytic Problem Solving Protocols to be in another [later] post. I should be sleeping…



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