Can problems be solved by setting them aside or by sleeping on them? Incubation, the process of stopping conscious work on problems for a set period of time, is an integral part of the creative problem solving process.
Providing an overview of the main issues, findings and implications of cognitive research on incubation effects in problem solving and creativity, this book argues that incubation is an effective strategy for tackling problems that do not yield to initial solution attempts. Gilhooly reasons that unconscious work is automatic and explores the underlying processes involved in incubation, providing evidence to showcase the major role of unconscious processing in problem solving. Incubation in Problem Solving and Creativity concludes with a discussion of the implications of unconscious work theory for enhanced problem solving, positioning incubation as an effective and important stage in creative problem solving.
This book is an invaluable resource for students and researchers of problem solving, creativity and thinking and reasoning as well as for students from all disciplines taking problem solving modules.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Problems, problem solving and creativity
Chapter 2. Historical background to the "Incubation" concept.
Chapter 3. Early Laboratory based studies of incubation
Chapter 4. Broad Theoretical approaches to incubation: empirical evidence.
Chapter 5. Unconscious Work: Theoretical Discussion.
Chapter 6. Sleep on it?
Chapter 7. Overview and conclusions
Kenneth J. Gilhooly is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, UK. He is a former Chair of the Cognitive Section of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and has served on the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Research Grants Board and the ESRC College of Assessors.