Gaining Insight Into the “Aha” Experience

  title={Gaining Insight Into the “Aha” Experience},
  author={Sascha Topolinski and Rolf Reber},
  journal={Current Directions in Psychological Science},
  pages={402 - 405}
The literature on insight lists four main characteristics of this experience: (a) suddenness (the experience is surprising and immediate), ease (the solution is processed without difficulty), positive affect (insights are gratifying), and the feeling of being right (after an insight, problem solvers judge the solution as being true and have confidence in this judgment). Although this phenomenology is well known, no theory has explained why insight feels the way it does. We propose a fluency… 

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Commentary: Moment of (Perceived) Truth: Exploring Accuracy of Aha! Experiences

Danek and Salvi ( The Journal of Creative Behavior , 1 – 3, 2018) provide a sound overview of research on the relationship between feelings of aha and the accuracy of problem-solving solutions.

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Abstract Insight has been investigated under the assumption that participants solve insight problems with insight processes and/or experiences. A recent trend has involved presenting participants

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How Difficult Was It? Metacognitive Judgments About Problems and Their Solutions After the Aha Moment

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The Aha! Moment

A sudden comprehension that solves a problem, reinterprets a situation, explains a joke, or resolves an ambiguous percept is called an insight (i.e., the “Aha! moment”). Psychologists have studied

Mind at ease puts a smile on the face: psychophysiological evidence that processing facilitation elicits positive affect.

The authors predicted that facilitation of stimulus processing should elicit a brief, mild, positive affective response, and the findings suggest a close link between processing dynamics and affect and may help understand several preference phenomena, including the mere-exposure effect.

Intuition in insight and noninsight problem solving

The difference in phenomenology accompanying insight and noninsight problem solving is proposed to be used to define insight, and the data indicated that noninsights problems were open to accurate predictions of performance, whereas insight problems were opaque to such predictions.

The secret life of fluency

Processing Fluency and Aesthetic Pleasure: Is Beauty in the Perceiver's Processing Experience?

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  • Psychology
    Personality and social psychology review : an official journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc
  • 2004
This work proposes that aesthetic pleasure is a funnction of the perceiver's processing dynamics: the more fluently perceivers can process an object, the more positive their aesthetic response, and reviews variables known to influence aesthetic judgments, and traces their effects to changes in processing fluency.

The mismeasure of memory: when retrieval fluency is misleading as a metamnemonic index.

In each of 3 experiments, participants' predictions of their own future recall performance were examined under conditions in which probability or speed of retrieval at one time or on one task is known to be negatively related to retrieval probability on a later task.

Reversing the truth effect: learning the interpretation of processing fluency in judgments of truth.

  • C. Unkelbach
  • Psychology
    Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition
  • 2007
The author proposes that fluency is used in truth judgments according to its ecological validity, and it is shown that repetition leads to greater experienced processing fluency.