- On the development of knowledge during problem solving.
- European Journal of Cognitive Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 12 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
A person might solve a problem progressing very quickly after an initial period of very little progress, as if new insight was suddenly gained, without that person possessing anything that merits being called insight. This is demonstrated in a series of studies as an extension of the experiments of Kotovsky and Simon (1990). A total of 68 undergraduate students solved an isomorph of the Chinese Ring Puzzle. The first study showed that the verbal protocols of participants thinking aloud contained accumulating explicit knowledge. In the second study, the participants' move records were analysed in a novel way, and it was shown that the choices of moves gradually improved. In the third study the knowledge about the puzzle was tested after the puzzle was solved. The participants demonstrated that they knew, although imperfectly, which move was possible in a given situation. The fourth study showed that verbalising did not alter problem solving profoundly. Together, the four studies demonstrated that solving the puzzle took place after a gradual development of knowledge, instead of a flash of insight.
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