Remember Me
Or use your Academic/Social account:


Or use your Academic/Social account:


You have just completed your registration at OpenAire.

Before you can login to the site, you will need to activate your account. An e-mail will be sent to you with the proper instructions.


Please note that this site is currently undergoing Beta testing.
Any new content you create is not guaranteed to be present to the final version of the site upon release.

Thank you for your patience,
OpenAire Dev Team.

Close This Message


Verify Password:
Verify E-mail:
*All Fields Are Required.
Please Verify You Are Human:
fbtwitterlinkedinvimeoflicker grey 14rssslideshare1
Publisher: Springer
Languages: English
Types: Article
The nine-dot problem is often used to demonstrate and explain mental impasse, creativity, and out of the box thinking. The present study investigated the interplay of a restricted initial search space, the likelihood of invoking a representational change, and the subsequent constraining of an unrestricted search space. In three experimental conditions, participants worked on different versions of the nine-dot problem that hinted at removing particular sources of difficulty from the standard problem. The hints were incremental such that the first suggested a possible route for a solution attempt; the second additionally indicated the dot at which lines meet on the solution path; and the final condition also provided non-dot locations that appear in the solution path. The results showed that in the experimental conditions, representational change is encountered more quickly and problems are solved more often than for the control group. We propose a cognitive model that focuses on general problem solving heuristics and representational change to explain problem difficulty.
  • The results below are discovered through our pilot algorithms. Let us know how we are doing!

    • Ash, I. K., & Wiley, J. (2006). The nature of restructuring in insight: An individualdifferences approach. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 13, 66-73.
    • Burnham, C., & Davis, K. (1969). The nine-dot problem: Beyond perceptual organization. Psychonomic Science, 17, 321-323.
    • Chronicle, E. P., Ormerod, T. C., & MacGregor, J. N. (2001). When insight just won't come: The failure of visual cues in the nine-dot problem. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 54 A, 903-919.
    • Duncker, K. (1945). On Problem-Solving (Vol. 58). Washington: American Psychological Association INC.
    • Grant, E. R., & Spivey, M. J. (2003). Eye movements and problem solving: Guiding attention guides thought. Psychological Science, 14, 462-466.
    • Hosmer, D. W., & Lemeshow, S. (2000). Applied Logistic Regression. New York: WileyInterscience.
    • Jones, G. (2003). Testing two cognitive theories of insight. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 29, 1017-1027.
    • Kaplan, C. A., & Simon, H. A. (1990). In search of insight. Cognitive Psychology, 22, 374- 419.
    • Kershaw, T.C., Flynn, C.K., & Gordon, L.T. (2013). Multiple paths to transfer and constraint relaxation in insight problem solving. Thinking & Reasoning, 19, 96-136.
    • Kershaw, T. C., & Ohlsson, S. (2004). Multiple Causes of Difficulty in Insight: The Case of the Nine-Dot Problem. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 30, 3-13.
    • Knoblich, G., Ohlsson, S., Haider, H., & Rhenius, D. (1999). Constraint relaxation and chunk decomposition in insight problem solving. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition, 25, 1534-1555.
    • Litchfield, D., & Ball, L. J. (2011). Using another's gaze as an explicit aid to insight problem solving. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64, 649-656.
    • Lung, C.-T., & Dominowski, R. L. (1985). Effects of strategy instructions and practice on nine-dot problem solving. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 11, 804-811.
    • MacGregor, J. N., Ormerod, T. C., & Chronicle, E. P. (2001). Information processing and insight: A process model of performance on the nine-dot and related problems. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 27, 176-201.
    • Maier, N. R. F. (1930). Reasoning in humans. I. On direction. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 10, 115-143.
    • Newell, A., & Simon, H. A. (1972). Human problem solving. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
    • Ohlsson, S. (1984a). Restructuring revisited: I. Summary and critique of the Gestalt theory of problem solving. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 25, 65-78.
    • Ohlsson, S. (1984b). Restructuring revisited: II. An information processing theory of restructuring and insight. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 25, 117-129.
    • Ohlsson, S. (1992). Information-processing explanations of insight and related phenomena. In M. Keane & K. Gilhooly (Eds.), Advances in the Psychology of Thinking (pp. 1-44). London: Harvester-Wheatsheaf.
    • Öllinger, M., Jones, G., Faber, A. H., & Knoblich, G. (2012). Cognitive Mechanisms of Insight: The Role of Heuristics and Representational Change in Solving the Eight-Coin Problem. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, No Pagination Specified.
    • Öllinger, M., Jones, G., & Knoblich, G. (2008). Investigating the Effect of Mental Set on Insight Problem Solving. Experimental Psychology, 55, 269-282.
    • Ormerod, T. C, Chronicle, E. P., & MacGregor, J. N. (1997). Facilitation in variants of the nine-dot problem: Perceptual or cognitive mediation? Poster presented at the 18th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Stanford, CA.
    • Ormerod, Thomas C, MacGregor, J. N., & Chronicle, E. P. (2002). Dynamics and constraints in insight problem solving. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 28, 791-799.
    • Scheerer, M. (1963). Problem-Solving. Scientific American, 208, 118-128.
    • Thevenot, C., & Oakhill, J. (2008). A generalization of the representational change theory from insight to non-insight problems: The case of arithmetic word problems. Acta Psychologica, 129, 315-324.
    • Thomas, L. E., & Lleras, A. (2007). Moving eyes and moving thought: On the spatial compatibility between eye movements and cognition. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 14, 663-668.
    • Weisberg, R. W., & Alba, J. W. (1981). An examination of the alleged role of “fixation” in the solution of several “insight” problems. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 110, 169-192.
  • No related research data.
  • Discovered through pilot similarity algorithms. Send us your feedback.

Share - Bookmark

Cite this article