C problems and solutions validating

When people solve problems analytically (or sometimes by trial and error), solvers are aware of the steps and processes and of their closeness to solution.

In contrast, when people solve by sudden insight, they were previously unaware they were approaching solution (Metcalfe & Wiebe, ), are surprised when they achieve it, and are also typically unaware of how they reorganized the problem structure to do so; yet they are immediately confident that the newfound solution fits the whole problem.

An alternative to the use of classic insight problems is to use shorter, somewhat simpler problems.

For instance, in the 1960s the remote associates test (RAT; Mednick, can be synonyms).

Again, any teacher who has presented these problems to a class or audience has likely encountered people who solved these classic insight problems but who claimed to do so in a straightforward analytic manner.

On the one hand, classic problems are appealing because they are thought by some to tap purely into insight processing.

The data collected across three studies yielded a pool of 88 rebus puzzles and 122 compound remote associate problems within a moderate range of difficulty.

This article provides both sets of problems with their normative data, for use in future research.

Another problem type used in a similar fashion is rebus puzzles, which present a word or words in an informative pictorial fashion, from which people are supposed to derive a common expression (e.g., M CE / M CE / M CE is solved as “three blind mice,” because the three MICE have no Is; or SDRAW, solved as “backwards”).

These problems are relatively easy to present and have well-constrained solutions but ill-constrained strategies for solving.

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