Roles of Self Goal Setting in Insight Problem Solving


Previous studies have shown that emphasizing the goal state could facilitate insight problem solving (e.g. Chronicle, MacGregor, & Ormerod, 2004). In these studies, the goal states were given by the experimenters and the participants were instructed to reach them. In the present study, we investigated whether the same facilitative effect could be obtained when the participants were forced to find the goal state by themselves. We used the 6-coin problem and compared the performance between the self goal setting condition and the control condition. The results showed that the participants in the self goal setting condition could solve the problem less often than those in the control condition when they were not allowed to reach the other goal state. It, however, slightly facilitated the insight problem solving if the participants were allowed to change the goal. The results indicated that self goal setting is effective in finding emergent goals.

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