NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1056546
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Facilitating Representation Change in Insight Problems through Training
Patrick, John; Ahmed, Afia
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v40 n2 p532-543 Mar 2014
Our aim in this article is to elaborate the role of training in representational change theory (RCT), particularly in terms of Ohlsson's (2011) spread of activation explanation (named "redistribution theory"), and to develop novel training manipulations that effect the re-encoding mechanism proposed by RCT (Ohlsson, 1992). Two experiments are reported that aim to help solve verbal insight problems and to enable some constraint to be relaxed. In Experiment 1, participants were trained to use heuristics to solve unseen problems from the same category that shared the same representational obstacle, namely, ambiguous word and ambiguous name problems. Concurrent verbal protocols were collected and analyzed in terms of the hypotheses proposed by participants. Training improved solution rate of unseen problems from the trained categories and, as expected, positive transfer was specific to the trained category of problem. Analysis of the incorrect hypotheses proposed during problem solving provided supplementary evidence of the effectiveness of training at inducing representation change. In Experiment 2, a similar approach to training was developed to help solve functional fixedness problems. Solution rate increased with training, although transfer was specific to the trained category of problem. Theoretical and methodological issues are discussed.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Wales)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A