Abstract

Previous research has characterized insight as the product of internal processes, and has thus investigated the cognitive and motivational processes that immediately precede it. In this research, however, we investigate whether insight can be catalyzed by a cultural artifact, an external object imbued with learned meaning. Specifically, we exposed participants to an illuminating lightbulb—an iconic image of insight—prior to or during insight problem-solving. Across four studies, exposing participants to an illuminating lightbulb primed concepts associated with achieving an insight, and enhanced insight problem-solving in three different domains (spatial, verbal, and mathematical), but did not enhance general (non-insight) problem-solving.
Authors
Michael Slepian, M. Weisbuch, A.M. Rutchick, L.S. Newman, and N. Ambady
Format
Journal Article
Publication Date
Journal
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

Full Citation

Slepian, Michael, M. Weisbuch, A.M. Rutchick, L.S. Newman, and N. Ambady
. “Shedding light on insight: Priming bright ideas.”
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
vol.
46
, (July 01, 2010):
696
-
700
.