ERIC Number: ED393593
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Mental Imagery in Creative Problem Solving.
Polland, Mark J.
In order to investigate the relationship between mental imagery and creative problem solving, a study of 44 separate accounts reporting mental imagery experiences associated with creative discoveries were examined. The data included 29 different scientists, among them Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, and 9 artists, musicians, and writers, including Leonardo da Vinci and Richard Wagner. Thirty-three of the incidents were reported by the subjects themselves, and 11 were written by biographers and historians. The study analyzed reports of mental imagery according to the following three factors: (1) possible causes for the reported perception of mental imagery; (2) what perceptual modalities were involved in the reported mental imagery; and (3) at what stage in the problem solving process imagery was reportedly involved. Findings included the following: (1) mental images occurred more often in a spontaneous way when the subjects were occupied with routine behaviors; (2) imagery that occurred in the visual modality was the single most reported factor, which may reflect the fact that the research focused on scientific fields that tend to rely on visual representations; and (3) mental imagery was reported to occur most frequently during the later stages in the creative process. Contains approximately 305 references. (AJH)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A