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An Eye Movement Study on the Effects of the Embodied Guidance in the Insight Problem Solving

Author: YaoYanFen
Tutor: XingQiang
School: Guangzhou University
Course: Developmental and Educational Psychology
Keywords: insight problem solving attentional guidance embodied effect eyemovement research
CLC: B842
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 67
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Insight is one of the most important processes in creative thinking, it can help usto understand the creative thinking better. There are many research of insight problemsolving, and the most representative theory are the representational-change theory, theprogress-monitoring theory, the prototypal heuristic theory.However, there are more and more researchers begin to investigate how our bodyinfluence the cognitive processes, such as the problem representation and the mentalrepresentation. Although researchers have well explain how problem representationinfluence problem solving, it has a limition: over emphasize the processes of the brain,without consider the relation between the mind and the body.By directing the participants to move their hands or eyes while they solving aninsight problem, to investigate how embodied guidance influence the insight problemsolving. The paper included2experiments. In experiment1, we use the matharithmetic problem to explore the role of gestures in problem solving. In experiment2,we use the Duncker’s Radiation Problem. To explore how eye movement andprototypal heuristic influence problem solving, experiment2a requiring theparticipants to perform a digit tracking task while solving an insight problem.Experiment2b aimed to examine whether eye movement was the real fact whichcaused the difference of guidance effect between insight problem solving inexperiment2a.The results showed that:Firstly, the embodied gesture improves the participants’ performance. The spatialrepresentations used to direct a person’s movements in space might be more active inmotor-control areas of the brain, because these representations are active, the personmight be facilitated in representing compatible actions or locations in space in other parts of the brain.Secondly, guidance attention in a prototypal heuristic type is the best way tofacilitate the insight problem solving.Thirdly, the differences between eye-movement and attention-shift are notsignificant. It demonstrates that overt physical movements were no necessary forparticipants to experience the benefits of embodied guidance during problem solving.In other words, it shows that an attentional mechanism divorced from physicalmovements underlies eye movements’ embodied effects on problem solving.Fourthly, embodied guidance implicitly improves the insight problem solving.

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