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Title: Mitigating the effects of implicit constraints in verbal insight problem solving through training
Author: Ahmed, Afia
ISNI:       0000 0004 2751 5629
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2011
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The main focus of this thesis was to design training to mitigate the effects of constraints underlying verbal insight problem solving. Concurrent verbal protocols were collected. Experiments 1 and 2 tested training that was specific to solving problems that were exemplars of trained categories. In Experiment 1, heuristic training was provided for two categories of constraint: those with ambiguous words and those with human names that should be associated with animals. Transfer was positive for novel problems within the two trained categories but not for problems outside. Experiment 2 improved performance on problems with ambiguous words once shortcomings in Experiment 1 were addressed. Experiment 3 tested training that was specific to solving functional fixedness verbal insight problems. An iterative process of considering many functions of individual items was successful in facilitating performance but not for problems outside. Experiments 4 and 5 investigated the effectiveness of different types of generic training in facilitating solution of novel verbal insight problems. In Experiment 4, participants were trained to identify assumptions, which they made during problem solving and were inconsistent with the problem statement. In Experiment 5, participants were trained to iteratively consider different parts of the problem specification and to identify inconsistencies as in Experiment 4. Solution rate was improved in both experiments although instruction to explain and justify oneself during problem solving was also sufficient in facilitating performance in Experiment 5. Finally, Experiment 6 tested a novel method for identifying when a participant was constrained by an incorrect representation during verbal insight problem solving. The results supported that there is variability in the nature of stereotypical constraints involved and demonstrated how training can be designed to induce restructuring or a shift in representation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available