Skip to content

Investigating the effect of mental set on insight problem solving

by Michael Öllinger, Gary Jones, Günther Knoblich
Experimental Psychology ()
Get full text at journal

Abstract

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 noninsight 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 noninsight 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 proceduralization.

Cite this document (BETA)

Authors on Mendeley

Readership Statistics

86 Readers on Mendeley
by Discipline
 
71% Psychology
 
7% Computer Science
 
6% Agricultural and Biological Sciences
by Academic Status
 
28% Student > Ph. D. Student
 
17% Student > Bachelor
 
16% Student > Master
by Country
 
6% United States
 
3% United Kingdom
 
2% Russia

Sign up today - FREE

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research. Learn more

  • All your research in one place
  • Add and import papers easily
  • Access it anywhere, anytime

Start using Mendeley in seconds!

Sign up & Download

Already have an account? Sign in