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A cognitive procedure for representation change in verbal insight problems

Patrick, John, Ahmed, Afia, Smy, Victoria, Seeby, Helen, Sambrooks, Katie (2015) A cognitive procedure for representation change in verbal insight problems. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 41 (3). pp. 746-759. ISSN 0278-7393. (doi:10.1037/xlm0000045) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:71002)

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The aim of this study was to develop a novel cognitive procedure for operationalizing how there-encoding and constraint relaxation, suggested by representational change theory (RCT) (Ohlsson,1992,2011), can effect representational change in verbal insight problem solving, thus circumventing theconstraints imposed by past experience. Some participants were trained in using an evaluative cognitiveprocedure that aimed to facilitate the identification of any inconsistency between the participant’sinterpretation of the problem and the problem statement, and thus cue the re-encoding proposed by RCT.In Experiment 1, participants were randomly allocated to training, practice, or a no-training controlcondition, and were subsequently tested on 7 verbal insight problems. Concurrent verbal protocols werecollected and analyzed to identify problem solvers’ proposed hypotheses and also to assess whetherproblem solving behavior changed in line with the training. Inconsistency identification training, ratherthan practice or no training, improved solution rate across novel problems and resulted in moreparaphrasing and questioning of the problem statement, and a modest increase in participants’ reflectionon their problem solving. Results from Experiment 2 indicated that this improvement in representationchange through training was not due to increased awareness of the nature of verbal insight problems butrather training in identifying inconsistencies between the problem statement and a person’s interpretationof it. Experiment 3 revealed that the performance improvement with training was sustained after a delayof 48 hr. Theoretical and methodological issues are discussed.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1037/xlm0000045
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Katie Sambrooks
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2018 14:04 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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