Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 26 (4), 716-30

Expertise as Mental Set: The Effects of Domain Knowledge in Creative Problem Solving

Affiliations

Expertise as Mental Set: The Effects of Domain Knowledge in Creative Problem Solving

J Wiley. Mem Cognit.

Abstract

Experts generally solve problems in their fields more effectively than novices because their well-structured, easily activated knowledge allows for efficient search of a solution space. But what happens when a problem requires a broad search for a solution? One concern is that subjects with a large amount of domain knowledge may actually be at a disadvantage, because their knowledge may confine them to an area of the search space in which the solution does not reside. In other words, domain knowledge may act as a mental set, promoting fixation in creative problem-solving attempts. A series of three experiments in which an adapted version of Mednick's (1962) remote associates task was used demonstrates conditions under which domain knowledge may inhibit creative problem solving.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 26 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Med Educ. 1989 Jul;23(4):381-6 - PubMed
    1. Mem Cognit. 1993 Nov;21(6):837-45 - PubMed
    1. Mem Cognit. 1987 Jan;15(1):84-93 - PubMed
    1. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 1988 Jul;14 (3):553-7 - PubMed
    1. Science. 1971 Feb 19;171(3972):701-3 - PubMed
Feedback