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Title: The effect of expertise on creative problem solving
Other Titles: Zhuan ye zhi shi dui jie jue chuang yi xing wen ti de ying xiang
Authors: Sio, Ut Na (蕭月娜)
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Studies
Degree: Master of Philosophy
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: City University of Hong Kong
Subjects: Creative thinking
Problem solving
Notes: CityU Call Number: BF378.E94 S56 2005
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 68-72)
Thesis (M.Phil.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2005
v, 82 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm. + 1 CD-ROM (4 3/4 in.)
Type: Thesis
Abstract: This experimental study was set up to examine if experts’ domain-related knowledge induces fixation effect on creative problem solving, and explore the role of an incubation period in creative problem solving. Three hypotheses were put forward and tested. The first one proposed that experts’ automatically activated domain-related knowledge fixates their minds when solving creative problems containing irrelevant domain-related cues and inhibits their performance. The second one stated that an incubation period helps to increase sensitivity to relevant concepts, whereas the third one suggested that an incubation period helps to suppress sensitivity to irrelevant concepts. The 28 expert and 29 novice GO players solved 18 Remote Association Tasks (RATs, adapted from Mednick, 1962) and Lexical Decision Tasks (LDTs) under Immediate (IM), Rest (RE), and Incubation Conditions (IN). After each RAT, a set of LDTs incorporating the RAT solution and the irrelevant concepts was presented, either immediately (IM), or after a two minute delay (RE), or after a two minute delay filled with incubation tasks (IN). The findings on the RAT performance support the hypothesized negative effect of expertise on creative problem solving. The findings on the LDT performance support the notion that the spread of activation occurring during an incubation period sensitizes problem solvers to relevant concepts. This study goes further to suggest that the spread of activation occurs only in a fixated mind. However, the hypothesized role of an incubation period in desensitizing problem solver to irrelevant concepts is not supported in this study.
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