Differentiating insight from non-insight problems

Thinking and Reasoning 11 (3):279 – 302 (2005)
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate whether a range of tasks that have been generally classed as requiring insight form an empirically separable group of tasks distinct from tasks generally classed as non-insight. In this study, 24 insight tasks, 10 non-insight tasks, and tests of individual differences in cognitive abilities and working memory were administered to 60 participants. Cluster analysis of the problem-solving tasks indicated that the presumed insight problems did tend to cluster with other presumed insight problems, and similarly the presumed non-insight problems tended to cluster with other presumed non-insight tasks. Performance on presumed insight problems was particularly linked to measures of ideational flexibility with a different pattern of results for the non-insight tasks. Spatial insight problems were linked to spatial flexibility and verbal insight tasks were linked to vocabulary scores. The results are discussed in relation to recent developments of dual process theories of thinking.
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