The Nature of Insight

The Nature of Insight

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The Nature of Insight brings together diverse perspectives, including recent theories and discoveries, to examine the nature and origins of insightful thinking, as well as the history of theory and research on the topic and the methods used to study it. There are chapters by the leading experts in this field, including Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ronald Finke, Howard Gruber, Marcel Just, David Meyer, David Perkins, Dean Simonton, and Robert Weisberg, among others.

The Nature of Insight is divided into five main parts. Following an introduction that reviews the history and methods of the field, part II looks at how people solve challenging puzzles whose answers cannot be obtained through ordinary means. Part III focuses on how people come up with ideas for new inventions, while part IV explores the thinking of some of the most insightful people in the history of civilization. Part V considers metaphors such as evolution and investment as bases for understanding insight. An epilogue integrates all these approaches.

ContributorsR.E. Mayer, R.L. Dominowsk, P. Dallob, C.M. Seifert, D.E. Meyer, N. Davidson, A.J. Patalano, I. Yaniv, J.E. Davidson, R.W. Weisberg, M.L. Gick, R.S. Lockhart, S.M. Smith, R.A. Finke, M.I. Isaak, M.A. Just, M. Csikszentmihalyi, K. Sawyer, K. Dunbar, H.E. Gruber, M.F. Ippolito, R.D. Tweney, D.K. Simonton, D.N. Perkins, R.J. Sternberg, T.I. Lubart

A Bradford Book
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Product details

  • Paperback | 636 pages
  • 151.13 x 224.79 x 35.31mm | 834.61g
  • Bradford Books
  • Massachusetts, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0262691876
  • 9780262691871
  • 1,678,536

Back cover copy

The Nature of Insight brings together diverse perspectives, including recent theories and discoveries, to examine the nature and origins of insightful thinking, as well as the history of theory and research on the topic and the methods used to study it. There are chapters by the leading experts in this field, including Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ronald A. Finke, Howard E. Gruber, Marcel Adam Just, David E. Meyer, David N. Perkins, Dean Keith Simonton, and Robert W. Weisberg, among others. The Nature of Insight is divided into five main parts. Following an introduction that reviews the history and methods of the field, part II looks at how people solve challenging puzzles whose answers cannot be obtained through ordinary means. Part III focuses on how people come up with ideas for new inventions, while part IV explores the thinking of some of the most insightful people in the history of civilization. Part V considers metaphors such as evolution and investment as bases for understanding insight. An epilogue integrates all these approaches.
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Table of contents

Part 1 Introduction: the search for insight - grappling with gestalt psychology's unanswered questions, Richard E. Mayer; insight and problem solving, Roger L. Dominowski and Pamela Dallob. Part 2 the puzzle-problem approach: demystification of cognitive insight - opportunistic assimilation and the prepared-mind perspective, Colleen M. Seifert et al; the suddenness of insight, Janet E. Davidson; prolegomena to theories of insight in problem solving - a taxonomy of problems, Robert W. Weisberg; cognitive and affective components of insight, Mary L. Gick and Robert S. Lockhart; getting into and out of mental ruts - a theory of fixation, incubation, and insight, Steven M. Smith. Part 3 The invention-based approach: creative insight and preinventive forms, Ronald A. Finke; constraints on thinking in insight and invention, Matthew I. Isaak and Marcel Adam Just. Part 4 the great-minds approach: creative insight - the social dimension of a solitary moment, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Keith Sawyer; how scientists really reason - scientific reasoning in real-world laboratories, Kevin Dunbar; insight and affect in the history of science, Howard E. Gruber; the inception of insight, Maria F. Ippolito and Ryan D. Tweney. Part 5 the metaphors-of-mind approach: foresight in insight? a Darwinian answer, Dean Keith Simonton; insight in minds and genes, David N. Perkins; an investment perspective on creative insight, Robert J. Sternberg and Todd I. Lubart. Epilogue: putting insight into perspective, Jonathan W. Schooler et al.
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About Janet E. Davidson

Mitchell Whitelaw is Lecturer in New Media at the School of Creative Communication, University of Canberra.
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