Locating the Difficulty in Insight Problems: Individual and Sex Differences

  title={Locating the Difficulty in Insight Problems: Individual and Sex Differences},
  author={Norman R. F. Maier and Gertrude G. Casselman},
  journal={Psychological Reports},
  pages={103 - 117}
This experiment was designed to determine whether difficult problems can be made easier by manipulating a major obstacle. Standard and supposedly simplified versions of 6 insight problems were used. 311 male and 233 female Ss were given 3 of the standard versions and 3 of the simplified versions of the problems. The results showed that the supposedly helpful manipulations had limited value. For males, the standard versions of only 3 of the problems were significantly more difficult than the… 
Multiple causes of difficulty in insight: the case of the nine-dot problem.
This work argues that the quantitatively small effects of many studies arise because the difficulty of many insight problems is determined by multiple factors, so the removal of 1 factor has limited effect on the solution rate.
The Sat as a Measure of Problem-Solving Ability in Males and Females
The purposes of this study were to determine (1) the relationship between mental operations involved in solving 5 insight problems and those used in taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and (2)
Priming insight in groups: Facilitating and inhibiting solving an ambiguously worded insight problem
Comparison of the group data in Experiment 1 with individually tested participants’ data revealed that the insight of the groups benefited from their being able to recognize lines of questions to follow, to listen to answers to questions asked, and to evaluate and reject errors or assumptions.
Problem-Solving Ability as a Factor in Selection of Major in College Study: Comparison of the Processes of “Idea-Getting” and “Making Essential Distinctions” in Males and Females
This study attempted to relate problem solving and academic major among 331 male and 281 female college students through the use of 5 insight problems measuring 2 problem-solving processes: (1)
Problem-solving as a function of age, sex and the role appropriateness of the problem content.
Investigation of problem-solving ability as a function of age, sex and problem content revealed that only age influenced performance with the middle-age group scoring significantly higher than the other groups.
The Impact of Positive and Negative Feedback in Insight Problem Solving
This project looks at the impacts of providing feedback in two contrasting ways to people attempting to solve one insight problem, the nine-dots problem, and concludes that a positive style is better because people who receive feedback phrased in apositive style are more likely to follow it than those who receive it in a negative style.
Who has insights? The who, where, and when of the Eureka moment
Background: Research investigating insight problem solving consists predominantly of experimental studies exploring the neurological and cognitive mechanisms. A limited number of studies have focused
Retention of problem solutions: the re-solution effect.
Experiments 1 and 2 challenged Weisberg and Alba's contention that solving a problem and being shown the solution yield equivalent problem knowledge and showed that with meaningful problems, solvers and those merely provided with solutions have qualitatively different problem representations.
Key Actions in Insight Problems: Further Evidence for the Importance of Non-Dot Turns in the Nine-Dot Problem
Key Actions in Insight Problems: Further Evidence for the Importance of Non-Dot Turns in the Nine-Dot Problem Trina C. Kershaw (tkersh1@uic.edu) Department of Psychology University of Illinois at
Incentives improve performance on both incremental and insight problem solving
Evidence that incentives influence problem solving is provided and implies that motivation should not be ignored when investigating cognitive processes.


Are Good Problem-Solvers Also Creative?
It is concluded that superior problem solvers also generate solutions that are rated as creative when several solutions to a given problem are possible.
Functional Values as AIDS and Distractors in Problem Solving
Two types of problem solving are suggested: one in which the solution reached gives new meanings to previous experiences; the other in which old meanings influence subsequent solutions.
Attempts to Predict Success on an Insight Problem
The behavioral data indicated that this explanation was inadequate in explaining performance of Ss on this problem because Ss tended to approach the problem in a selective manner, and increased time for search did not increase the number of correct solutions produced.
Functions of hints in individual problem-solving.
There is evidence indicating that hints which "explicate the goal" are more helpful than hints which do not; that "concrete hints" areMore helpful than "abstract hints"; and that hints having no value, but which precede the appearance of a solution, are given credit for causing the solution.
Response availability as a factor in the problem-solving performance of males and females.
  • N. Maier, R. Burke
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Journal of personality and social psychology
  • 1967
Reasoning in humans: 1. On direction
  • Journal o f Comparative Psychology,
  • 1930