ERIC Number: EJ1030353
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Productive and Re-Productive Thinking in Solving Insight Problems
Cunningham, J. Barton; MacGregor, James N.
Journal of Creative Behavior, v48 n1 p44-63 Mar 2014
Many innovations in organizations result when people discover insightful solutions to problems. Insightful problem-solving was considered by Gestalt psychologists to be associated with productive, as opposed to re-productive, thinking. Productive thinking is characterized by shifts in perspective which allow the problem solver to consider new, sometimes transformational, approaches. Re-productive thinking, on the other hand, involves the application of familiar, routine, procedures. This article reports a study which investigated how self-reported productive and re-productive thinking are related to an individual's ability to solve insight problems. Our measures were tested against the Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory (KAI), and a battery of spatial insight problems. The results indicated that productive and re-productive thinking and the KAI were successful in predicting performance on spatial insight problems. Furthermore, the measures of productive and re-productive thinking accounted for spatial insight performance independently of scores on the KAI. In addition, the results suggested that re-productive thinking consists of two different components--one based on group conventions and the other on personal experience. Each contributed differently to solving insight problems.
Descriptors: Productive Thinking, Problem Solving, Spatial Ability, Prediction, Performance, Experience, Cognitive Tests
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Kirton Adaption Innovation Inventory