A key difficulty with insight problems is that an “impasse” resulting from the initial representation of the problem may “constrain” the boundaries of the search area. We present three studies on visuo-spatial problem solving which aim to test whether thinking in opposites triggers the representational change needed to find the solution (see Branchini et al., 2015a, 2016, Bianchi et al., 2020). This follows an initial intuition of Wertheimer (1919) and Duncker (1935) which was subsequently developed by Branchini et al. (2009, 2021). Thinking in opposites keeps thought processes anchored on the phenomenal structure of a problem, thus satisfying the requirements of epistemic vigilance (Mercier & Sperber, 2011), acting as a filter during the search for a solution (Bozzi, 1962, 1965; Branchini et al., 2015b). The participants were organized into small inter-observational groups. They were requested to make a detailed analysis of the perceptual characteristics of the problem (e.g. horizontal, co-planar, attached, aligned) and to consider whether the solution required transforming one of these characteristics into its opposite (i.e. vertical, on different planes, separated or misaligned. The results showed that using this strategy, their success rate improved and less time was needed to find the solution. The type of drawings they did during the search phase were also more fruitful. Thinking in opposites produced better results when the participants worked in groups. Possible reasons for this will be discussed.

Thinking in opposites facilitates insight problem solving, especially if done in small groups

Branchini E.;Burro R.;Capitani E.;
2022

Abstract

A key difficulty with insight problems is that an “impasse” resulting from the initial representation of the problem may “constrain” the boundaries of the search area. We present three studies on visuo-spatial problem solving which aim to test whether thinking in opposites triggers the representational change needed to find the solution (see Branchini et al., 2015a, 2016, Bianchi et al., 2020). This follows an initial intuition of Wertheimer (1919) and Duncker (1935) which was subsequently developed by Branchini et al. (2009, 2021). Thinking in opposites keeps thought processes anchored on the phenomenal structure of a problem, thus satisfying the requirements of epistemic vigilance (Mercier & Sperber, 2011), acting as a filter during the search for a solution (Bozzi, 1962, 1965; Branchini et al., 2015b). The participants were organized into small inter-observational groups. They were requested to make a detailed analysis of the perceptual characteristics of the problem (e.g. horizontal, co-planar, attached, aligned) and to consider whether the solution required transforming one of these characteristics into its opposite (i.e. vertical, on different planes, separated or misaligned. The results showed that using this strategy, their success rate improved and less time was needed to find the solution. The type of drawings they did during the search phase were also more fruitful. Thinking in opposites produced better results when the participants worked in groups. Possible reasons for this will be discussed.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
GTA_Book of abstracts_2022.pdf

accesso aperto

Licenza: Non specificato
Dimensione 687.52 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
687.52 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1073048
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact