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   2011, Vol. 43 Issue (06) : 619-628     DOI:
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Influence of Prototype Representation on Elicitation Effect in Creative Problem Solving
TIAN Yan;LUO Jun-Long;LI Wen-Fu;QIU Jiang;ZHANG Qing-Lin
School of Psychology, Southwest University; Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality, Ministry of Education,
Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
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Abstract  Heuristic strategy is one of the usual strategies in problem solving. Zhang Qinglin proposed the heuristic theory of prototypal matters in insight problem solving, which can be regarded as creative problem solving under experimental conditions. According to this theory, “prototypal events activation” and “key heuristic information activation” are two parts of the process of prototype elicitation. The present study was designed to explore the influence of the two conditions of prototype learning on elicitation effect in creative problem solving. Namely the influence of the mark of prototype and the illustration of prototype on “prototypal events activation” and “key heuristic information activation” in creative problem solving. We adopted the activation rate of prototypal events and the accuracy of problem solving as two dependent variable index in order to depart the process of“prototypal events activation”from the process of “key heuristic information activation”.
This study selected thirty-two scientific inventions-creations problems as the material and adopted the “8 vs 8” learning and testing experimental paradigm. First, the participants were asked to study eight prototypes successively; second, the participants were required to answer eight qestions presented randomly through oral report. And the eight qestions should be answered according to the eight prototypes supplied earlier. In the experiment, a 2 (with marks vs. without marks) ×2 (with illustrations vs. without illustrations) experimental design was adopted. Marks were the bold key phrases marked out with green in the literal representations of prototypes and they can most unlimitedly embody the principle and method of science. Illustrations were the pictorial representations of prototypes which were presented together with the literal representations of prototypes. The instrument for the statistical analyses used in the experiment is SPSS 16. 0.
The results showed that : 1)the activation rate of prototypal events was effected evidently by the presence of marks on the level without illustrations (F(1,35)=11.87, p<0.01), and it was higher with the presence of marks, the activation rate of prototypal events was not effected evidently by the presence of marks on the level with illustrations(F(1,35)=0.03, p=0.865); the activation rate of prototypal events was effected evidently by the presence of illustrations(F(1,35)=7.48, p<0.01),and it was higher with the presence of illustrations. 2)the accuracy of problem solving was effected evidently by the presence of marks(F(1,35)=17.71, p<0.001), and it was higher with the presence of marks; the accuracy of problem solving was effected evidently by the presence of illustrations(F(1,35)=31.84, p<0.001), and it was higher with the presence of illustrations. 3)the interaction effects of marks and illustrations were significant on the activation rate of prototypal events(F(1,35)=8.21, p<0.01) and the accuracy of problem solving(F(1,35)=13.15, p<0.001).This result showed that the thinking process of prototype elicitation was flexible to a certain degree.
Based on these results above, we can work out corresponding teaching programs in teaching activities to improve students’ creativeness for now or for the future. What’s more, in this study, we first adopted the activation rate of prototypal events and the accuracy of problem solving as two dependent variable index to depart the process of “prototypal events activation”from the process of “key heuristic information activation”. Additionally, we gained a different image representation of prototype through the presence of the prototypal literal representation together with the illustration of the prototype. This will be very helpful to the study of phased elicitation effect and image representation of prototype in the future.
Keywords creative problem solving      elicitation effect      key heuristic information      image representation     
Corresponding Authors: ZHANG Qing-Lin   
Issue Date: 30 June 2011
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TIAN Yan
LUO Jun-Long
LI Wen-Fu
QIU Jiang
ZHANG Qing-Lin
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TIAN Yan,LUO Jun-Long,LI Wen-Fu, et al. Influence of Prototype Representation on Elicitation Effect in Creative Problem Solving[J]. , 2011, 43(06): 619-628.
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/      OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2011/V43/I06/619
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