Differential use of incidental stimuli in problem solving as a function of creativity
Abstract108 undergraduate Ss of 3 levels of creativity, as assessed by Mednick's (1962) Remote Associates Test, were given 30 anagrams to solve. Prior to the anagram task, they memorized 25 words under interference conditions, another list of 25 words played on a tape recorder. Unknown to Ss, 10 of the anagram solutions had previously appeared in the memorized list (focal-incidental) and 10 in the interference list (peripheral-incidental). As predicted, high > middle > low creatives utilized both the focal and peripheral incidental cues (p < .05). Inasmuch as there were no significant differences in rote recall, the results were interpreted as reflecting wider deployment of attention and less screening out of "irrelevant" past experiences by high creatives during problem solving.