Incubation Effects In Creative Thinking

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Creativity has become an important skill for individuals in the complex society today (Ritter & Dijksterhuis, 2014). Runco (2004) states that creativity is associated with problem solving as it usually involves the construction of new or original thoughts thus contributing to advancement in society. Historically, creativity has been an interesting topic to many individuals. In particular, Wallas (1926 as cited in Gilhooly, Georgiou & Devery, 2013) in his four stage process of creative thinking, labelled a stage called incubation. This is where individuals are given a period of time where they are not consciously working on a particular problem (Gilhooly et al., 2013). Following Wallas’s process of creative thinking, many studies have suggested …show more content…
In particular, the forgetting-fixation theory is commonly used to explain such effects (Smith & Blankenship, 1989 as cited in Penaloza & Calvillo, 2012). This theory suggests that only participants who are fixated on non-beneficial cues would benefit from this period of distraction as it causes them to forget these cues and thus allowing for the correct solution to be implemented (Penaloza & Calvillo, 2012). The Remote Associate Test (RAT) is a common tasks used to demonstrate this theory (Penaloza & Calvillo, 2012). Penaloza and Calvillo (2012) reported that individuals in both fixated and non-fixation conditions, when given a break between the first and second attempt of the RAT, were able to solve a higher proportion of the RAT compared to individuals who were not given an incubation period. The filler task given to these individuals was a passage to read in order for participants to pay conscious attention (Penaloza & Calvillo, 2012). However, there were also many studies reporting inconsistent results for incubation effects (Penaloza & Calvillo, 2012), suggesting that the nature of the interpolated task may affect incubation effects. Gilhooly et al. (2013)’s study reported that when spatial tasks were given during the incubation period with verbal tasked creative problems, a greater effect was observed compared to when both the creative …show more content…
The target task was the RAT, similar to Penaloza and Calvillo’s (2012) study, but participants in our study were given ten RAT items and were given one minute to work on each item rather than fifteen seconds. However, the whole minute was either given in one single attempt for those in the non-incubation condition or split into two thirty second attempts for those in the incubation condition. In addition, participants were also given an example of the RAT and instructions and explanation for the two interpolated task and the same RAT problems were given to those in the incubation condition similar to Penaloza and Calvillo’s (2012) experiment. As we also wanted to address whether the nature of the interpolated task had an affect on incubation effects, rather than giving a reading passage which Penaloza and Calvillo (2012) gave during the incubation period, stimulus chosen was similar to Gilhooly et al.’s (2013) experiment. Following Gilhooly et al.’s (2013) study using different types of interpolated tasks, verbal and spatial, this study presented two different tasks, the verbal alternative uses task and non-verbal, the binocular rivalry. Rather than five minutes given in the incubation period (Gilhooly et al, 2013), participants in this study were given three minutes for each

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