The Nature of Insight


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.

R.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

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword
  2. Preface
  3. I. Introduction
  4. 1. The Search for Insight: Grappling with Gestalt Psychology's Unanswered Questions

    Richard E. Mayer

  5. 2. Insight and Problem Solving

    Roger L. Dominowski and Pamela Dallob

  6. II. The Puzzle-Problem Approach
  7. 3. Demystification of Cognitive Insight: Opportunistic Assimilation and the Prepared-Mind Perspective

    Colleen M. Seifert, David E. Meyer, Natalie Davidson, Andrea L. Patalano and Ilan Yaniv

  8. 4. The Suddenness of Insight

    Janet E. Davidson

  9. 5. Prolegomena to Theories of Insight in Problem Solving: A Taxonomy of Problems

    Robert W. Weisberg

  10. 6. Cognitive and Affective Components of Insight

    Mary L. Gick and Robert S. Lockhart

  11. 7. Getting into and Out of Mental Ruts: A Theory of Fixation, Incubation, and Insight

    Steven M. Smith

  12. III. The Invention-based Approach
  13. 8. Creative Insight and Preinventive Forms

    Ronald A. Finke

  14. 9. Constraints on Thinking in Insight and Invention

    Matthew I. Isaak and Marcel Adam Just

  15. IV. The Great-Minds Approach
  16. 10. Creative Insight: The Social Dimension of a Solitary Moment

    Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Keith Sawyer

  17. 11. How Scientists Really Reason: Scientific Reasoning in Real-World Laboratories

    Kevin Dunbar

  18. 12. Insight and Affect in the History of Science

    Howard E. Gruber

  19. 13. The Inception of Insight

    Maria F. Ippolito and Ryan D. Tweney

  20. V. The Metaphors-of-Mind Approach
  21. 14. Foresight in Insight? A Darwinian Answer

    Dean Keith Simonton

  22. 15. Insight in Minds and Genes

    David N. Perkins

  23. 16. An Investment Perspective on Creative Insight

    Robert J. Sternberg and Todd I. Lubart

  24. Epilogue: Putting Insight into Perspective

    Jonathan W. Schooler, Marte Fallshore and Stephen M. Fiore

  25. Contributors
  26. Author Index
  27. Subject Index