To date we have only a fragmentary understanding of the thought processes that engender insightful solutions to problems that require a change in representation or the discovery of distant associations to presented information. We likewise have only a piecemeal understanding of the thinking that underpins creative problem solving, where solutions are needed that are new to the solver. Recently there has been a growing interest in removing the mystery from insight and creativity through better specified theories and theory-driven experimentation.
The chapters in this volume reflect key developments in this expanding field of insight and creativity research. Collectively, the chapters converge on a nuanced view of insight and creative thinking as often arising from the interplay between two qualitatively distinct types of processes that interact to yield sudden, surprising and innovative solutions to problems that initially seemed impenetrable and resistant to the application of inventive ideas. This dual-process perspective, which capitalises on the distinction between ‘special’ (automatic, unconscious and associative) Type 1 processes and ‘routine’ (controlled, conscious and analytic) Type 2 processes, helps advance a theoretical understanding of insight and creativity, whilst also provoking important new research questions. This book was originally published as a special issue of Thinking and Reasoning.
Table of Contents
1. Insight and creative thinking processes: Routine and special K. J. Gilhooly, Linden J. Ball, and Laura Macchi
2. Toward an integrated theory of insight in problem solving Robert W. Weisberg
3. The shifting sands of creative thinking: Connections to dual-process theory Paul T. Sowden, Andrew Pringle, and Liane Gabora
4. Reasoned connections: A dual-process perspective on creative thought Nathaniel Barr, Gordon Pennycook, Jennifer A. Stolz, and Jonathan A. Fugelsang
5. When distraction helps: Evidence that concurrent articulation and irrelevant speech can facilitate insight problem solving Linden J. Ball, John E. Marsh, Damien Litchfield, Rebecca L. Cook, and Natalie Booth
6. A sketch is not enough: Dynamic external support increases creative insight on a guided synthesis task David G. Pearson and Robert H. Logie
7. Incubation and cueing effects in problem-solving: Set aside the difficult problems but focus on the easy ones Ut Na Sio and Thomas C. Ormerod
8. Incubation and suppression processes in creative problem solving K. J. Gilhooly, G. J. Georgiou, M. Sirota, and A. Paphiti-Galeano
9. When analytic thought is challenged by a misunderstanding L. Macchi and M. Bagassi
Kenneth J. Gilhooly is Research Professor of Quantitative Gerontology at Brunel University, UK and Emeritus Professor at the University of Hertfordshire, UK.
Linden J. Ball is Professor of Cognitive Psychology and Dean of Psychology at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
Laura Macchi is Professor of Psychology of Thinking and Decision Making in the Department of Psychology at the University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy.