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TagHans Stuyck

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Study: When Solving Puzzles, Spontaneous Insight Beats Analysis

A study out of Belgium compared the results of analytical thinking and flashes of insight, both with and without distractions

CUNY journalism teacher Emily Laber-Warren reports at Scientific American on an interesting psychology study out of Belgium that divided the 105 undergraduate participants into three groups where each member was to solve to solve a group of 70 word puzzles under three different conditions,. The first group just had to solve the puzzle in 25 seconds or less, the second group had to also remember two numbers flashed on a screen, and the third group had to remember four numbers flashed on the screen. Each participant was asked to record whether the puzzle was solved by an Aha! insight or systematically, step by step. Laber-Warren explains: The purpose of making people remember random numbers was to burden their mind with…