Shedding light on insight: Priming bright ideas

Michael L. Slepian, Max Weisbuch, Abraham M. Rutchick, Leonard S. Newman, Nalini Ambady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)696-700
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010

Keywords

  • Creativity
  • Insight
  • Priming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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