Motivation through insight: the phenomenological correlates of insight and spatial ability tasks
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Cognitive Psychology. 2020, . 10.1080/20445911.2020.1844721
In an experiment (n = 430), grounded in an integrative fluency account of the phenomenology of the Aha-experience, we tested the assumption that problem solving through insight is distinct from other strategies of problem-solving in that the affective response invoked by Aha-experiences is more influential than other solution strategies on motivational processes. Results indicated that insight tasks, compared to non-insight tasks, had the strongest affective and motivational outcomes both during and after task solution. Moreover, for insight tasks, sudden insight was the strongest predictor of correct solutions. Interestingly, step-by-step and guessing strategies were positive and negative predictors, respectively, of correct solutions. Finally, only trial and error significantly predicted correct solutions for non-insight tasks. We argue that solution strategies are not mutually exclusive. However, some strategies are more frequently used and possibly more adapted to different types of tasks. The study supports the integrative fluency account and motivational outcomes of Aha-experiences.