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Does incubation enhance problem solving? A meta-analytic review.

Sio, UN and Ormerod, TC (2009) Does incubation enhance problem solving? A meta-analytic review. Psychol Bull, 135 (1). pp. 94-120.

Sio & Ormerod Psyc Bull 2011 accepted.pdf - ["content_typename_UNSPECIFIED" not defined]

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A meta-analytic review of empirical studies that have investigated incubation effects on problem solving is reported. Although some researchers have reported increased solution rates after an incubation period (i.e., a period of time in which a problem is set aside prior to further attempts to solve), others have failed to find effects. The analysis examined the contributions of moderators such as problem type, presence of solution-relevant or misleading cues, and lengths of preparation and incubation periods to incubation effect sizes. The authors identified a positive incubation effect, with divergent thinking tasks benefiting more than linguistic and visual insight tasks from incubation. Longer preparation periods gave a greater incubation effect, whereas filling an incubation period with high cognitive demand tasks gave a smaller incubation effect. Surprisingly, low cognitive demand tasks yielded a stronger incubation effect than did rest during an incubation period when solving linguistic insight problems. The existence of multiple types of incubation effect provides evidence for differential invocation of knowledge-based vs. strategic solution processes across different classes of problem, and it suggests that the conditions under which incubation can be used as a practical technique for enhancing problem solving must be designed with care.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Date : January 2009
Identification Number : 10.1037/a0014212
Uncontrolled Keywords : Attention, Awareness, Creativity, Cues, Humans, Imagination, Linguistics, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Problem Solving
Related URLs :
Additional Information : This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 02 Apr 2014 13:36
Last Modified : 09 Jun 2014 13:53

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