Chronicle, E. P. and MacGregor, J. N. and Ormerod, T. C. (2004) What makes an insight problem? The roles of heuristics, goal conception and solution recoding in knowledge-lean problems. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 30 (1). pp. 14-27. ISSN 0278-7393
Four experiments investigated transformation problems with insight characteristics. In Experiment 1, performance on a version of the 6-coin problem that had a concrete and visualizable solution followed a hill-climbing heuristic. Experiment 2 demonstrated that the difficulty of a version of the problem that potentially required insight for solution stems from the same hill-climbing heuristic, which creates an implicit conceptual block. Experiment 3 confirmed that the difficulty of the potential insight solution is conceptual, not procedural. Experiment 4 demonstrated the same principles of move selection on the 6-coin problem and the 10-coin (triangle) problem. It is argued that hill-climbing heuristics provide a common framework for understanding transformation and insight problem solving. Post-solution recoding may account for part of the phenomenology of insight.
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