Using another's gaze as an explicit aid to insight problem solving

Damien Litchfield, Linden Ball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research has shown that implicitly guiding attention via visual cues or unrelated tasks can increase the likelihood of solving insight problems. We examined whether following another person making specific skin-crossing saccades could induce similar attentional shifts and increase solution rates for Duncker’s radiation problem. We presented 150 participants with one of three 30s eye movement patterns from another problem solver: (1) focusing solely on the central tumour; (2) naturally making skin-crossing saccades between the outside area and the tumour from multiple angles; or (3) making deliberate skin-crossing saccades between the outside area and the tumour from multiple angles. Following another person making skin-crossing saccades increased the likelihood of solving the radiation problem. Our results demonstrate that another person’s eye movements can promote attentional shifts that trigger insight problem solving.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-656
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Volume64
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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