The complementary roles of knowledge and strategy in insight problem-solving
- Thomas Ormerod, School of Psychology, University of Sussex, Falmer, East Sussex, United Kingdom
- James N. MacGregor, School of Public Administration, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
AbstractTwo main classes of theory have been proposed to account for insight problem-solving performance; those that invoke the overcoming of constraints arising from prior knowledge as the source of insight, and those that propose strategic search for moves that make progress towards a hypothesized goal state. An experiment using matchstick algebra problems assessed the contributions of each source. Results indicate that, while prior knowledge creates the conditions under which matchstick algebra problems are more or less difficult to solve, search for moves that make the most apparent progress towards a hypothesized goal provides the key to eventual solution.
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