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The merits of unconscious thought in creativity.
Psychol Sci 2008; 19(9):912-8PS

Abstract

Research has yielded weak empirical support for the idea that creative solutions may be discovered through unconscious thought, despite anecdotes to this effect. To understand this gap, we examined the effect of unconscious thought on two outcomes of a remote-association test (RAT): implicit accessibility and conscious reporting of answers. In Experiment 1, which used very difficult RAT items, a short period of unconscious thought (i.e., participants were distracted while holding the goal of solving the RAT items) increased the accessibility of RAT answers, but did not increase the number of correct answers compared with an equal duration of conscious thought or mere distraction. In Experiment 2, which used moderately difficult RAT items, unconscious thought led to a similar level of accessibility, but fewer correct answers, compared with conscious thought. These findings confirm and extend unconscious-thought theory by demonstrating that processes that increase the mental activation of correct solutions do not necessarily lead them into consciousness.

Authors+Show Affiliations

University of Toronto-OBHRM, 105 St. George St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S3E6. chenbo.zhong@rotman.utoronto.caNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial

Language

eng

PubMed ID

18947357

Citation

Zhong, Chen-Bo, et al. "The Merits of Unconscious Thought in Creativity." Psychological Science, vol. 19, no. 9, 2008, pp. 912-8.
Zhong CB, Dijksterhuis A, Galinsky AD. The merits of unconscious thought in creativity. Psychol Sci. 2008;19(9):912-8.
Zhong, C. B., Dijksterhuis, A., & Galinsky, A. D. (2008). The merits of unconscious thought in creativity. Psychological Science, 19(9), pp. 912-8. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02176.x.
Zhong CB, Dijksterhuis A, Galinsky AD. The Merits of Unconscious Thought in Creativity. Psychol Sci. 2008;19(9):912-8. PubMed PMID: 18947357.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The merits of unconscious thought in creativity. AU - Zhong,Chen-Bo, AU - Dijksterhuis,Ap, AU - Galinsky,Adam D, PY - 2008/10/25/pubmed PY - 2009/2/28/medline PY - 2008/10/25/entrez SP - 912 EP - 8 JF - Psychological science JO - Psychol Sci VL - 19 IS - 9 N2 - Research has yielded weak empirical support for the idea that creative solutions may be discovered through unconscious thought, despite anecdotes to this effect. To understand this gap, we examined the effect of unconscious thought on two outcomes of a remote-association test (RAT): implicit accessibility and conscious reporting of answers. In Experiment 1, which used very difficult RAT items, a short period of unconscious thought (i.e., participants were distracted while holding the goal of solving the RAT items) increased the accessibility of RAT answers, but did not increase the number of correct answers compared with an equal duration of conscious thought or mere distraction. In Experiment 2, which used moderately difficult RAT items, unconscious thought led to a similar level of accessibility, but fewer correct answers, compared with conscious thought. These findings confirm and extend unconscious-thought theory by demonstrating that processes that increase the mental activation of correct solutions do not necessarily lead them into consciousness. SN - 1467-9280 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/18947357/The_merits_of_unconscious_thought_in_creativity_ L2 - http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02176.x?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -