Getting an 'aha!' with different types of hints

Sum Kwing CHEUNG, Yik Ching KONG, Yuk Lam LI, Wai Yin WONG, Catherine MCBRIDE-CHANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


Several theories have proposed that changing representations of insight problems could help overcome mental blocks. Constraint relaxation is one of the effects brought about by hints. This study aimed at investigating the effects of different hints in changing problem representations. 'SHOULD' hints were hypothesized to lead participants to the correct path while 'SHOULD NOT' hints were hypothesized to eliminate one of the possible paths. Results showed that 'SHOULD' hints facilitated insight problem solving by increasing the speed and the number of correct answers given. This study points to the importance of thinking from a different perspective when faced with mental blocks. Copyright © 2005 The Korean Association For Thinking Development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-58
JournalThe International Journal of Creativity & Problem Solving
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005


Cheung, S. K., Kong, Y. C., Li, Y. L., Wong, W. Y., & McBride-Chang, C. (2005). Getting an 'aha!' with different types of hints. The International Journal of Creativity & Problem Solving, 15(1), 47-58.