An ecological perspective on insight problem solving

Sune Vork Steffensen, Frédéric Vallée-Tourangeau

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapport/konference-proceedingBidrag til bog/antologiForskningpeer review

Resumé

Our starting point in this chapter is the ecological tradition’s aspiration “to understand how organisms make their way in the world, not how a world is made inside of organisms” (Reed, 1996, p. 11). For an organism, “making one’s way in the world” is a continuous process: It is a behavioral and metabolic continuity whereby the organism-environment relation is regulated in a way that leaves traces in both the organism and the environment. The prerequisite for describing the organism-environment relation as being regulated is that the relation is sufficiently flexible: A living system’s flexible, adaptive behavior is enabled by cognition. Accordingly, a cognitive trajectory intertwines with the organism’s behavioral and metabolic processes. We define this cognitive trajectory as an emergent pattern in a dynamic organism-environment relation, managed by the organism through continuous action-perception cycles. On this view, cognition does not play out in a separate, mediational (mental) realm nor does it constitute a causal power that controls the organism’s metabolic and behavioral states. The chapter opens with a critical review of the mentalist view on cognition and problem solving, partly through a critique of the classic methods of decomposing problem solving and partly through a discussion of Ohlsson’s framework. After that, we present the ecological framework and suggests that from that perspective, problem-solving psychology is the “psychology of the suspended next.” We clarify this view through a presentation of how organism-environment interactivity gives rise to distinct cognitive trajectories in two case examples: one observed under laboratory conditions and one in the “wild.” Our main proposal is that, to understand problem solving, we need to take as a starting point how agents probe their cognitive ecology when their automatized routines fail, and they find themselves confronted with an impasse. Insights, on this view, are not achieved, but enacted.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TitelInsight : On the Origins of New Ideas
RedaktørerFrederic Vallee-Tourangeau
ForlagRoutledge
Publikationsdato2018
Sider169-190
ISBN (Trykt)9781138288065
ISBN (Elektronisk)9781351975100
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2018
NavnCurrent issues in Thinking and Reasoning

Fingeraftryk

cognition
psychology
interactive media
ecology
continuity

Citer dette

Steffensen, S. V., & Vallée-Tourangeau, F. (2018). An ecological perspective on insight problem solving. I F. Vallee-Tourangeau (red.), Insight: On the Origins of New Ideas (s. 169-190). Routledge. Current issues in Thinking and Reasoning https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315268118-9
Steffensen, Sune Vork ; Vallée-Tourangeau, Frédéric. / An ecological perspective on insight problem solving. Insight: On the Origins of New Ideas. red. / Frederic Vallee-Tourangeau. Routledge, 2018. s. 169-190 (Current issues in Thinking and Reasoning).
@inbook{03f2fbecf75b4caa8c073915e0e7526a,
title = "An ecological perspective on insight problem solving",
abstract = "Our starting point in this chapter is the ecological tradition’s aspiration “to understand how organisms make their way in the world, not how a world is made inside of organisms” (Reed, 1996, p. 11). For an organism, “making one’s way in the world” is a continuous process: It is a behavioral and metabolic continuity whereby the organism-environment relation is regulated in a way that leaves traces in both the organism and the environment. The prerequisite for describing the organism-environment relation as being regulated is that the relation is sufficiently flexible: A living system’s flexible, adaptive behavior is enabled by cognition. Accordingly, a cognitive trajectory intertwines with the organism’s behavioral and metabolic processes. We define this cognitive trajectory as an emergent pattern in a dynamic organism-environment relation, managed by the organism through continuous action-perception cycles. On this view, cognition does not play out in a separate, mediational (mental) realm nor does it constitute a causal power that controls the organism’s metabolic and behavioral states. The chapter opens with a critical review of the mentalist view on cognition and problem solving, partly through a critique of the classic methods of decomposing problem solving and partly through a discussion of Ohlsson’s framework. After that, we present the ecological framework and suggests that from that perspective, problem-solving psychology is the “psychology of the suspended next.” We clarify this view through a presentation of how organism-environment interactivity gives rise to distinct cognitive trajectories in two case examples: one observed under laboratory conditions and one in the “wild.” Our main proposal is that, to understand problem solving, we need to take as a starting point how agents probe their cognitive ecology when their automatized routines fail, and they find themselves confronted with an impasse. Insights, on this view, are not achieved, but enacted.",
author = "Steffensen, {Sune Vork} and Fr{\'e}d{\'e}ric Vall{\'e}e-Tourangeau",
year = "2018",
doi = "10.4324/9781315268118-9",
language = "English",
isbn = "9781138288065",
series = "Current issues in Thinking and Reasoning",
pages = "169--190",
editor = "Frederic Vallee-Tourangeau",
booktitle = "Insight",
publisher = "Routledge",
address = "United Kingdom",

}

Steffensen, SV & Vallée-Tourangeau, F 2018, An ecological perspective on insight problem solving. i F Vallee-Tourangeau (red.), Insight: On the Origins of New Ideas. Routledge, Current issues in Thinking and Reasoning, s. 169-190. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315268118-9

An ecological perspective on insight problem solving. / Steffensen, Sune Vork; Vallée-Tourangeau, Frédéric.

Insight: On the Origins of New Ideas. red. / Frederic Vallee-Tourangeau. Routledge, 2018. s. 169-190 (Current issues in Thinking and Reasoning).

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapport/konference-proceedingBidrag til bog/antologiForskningpeer review

TY - CHAP

T1 - An ecological perspective on insight problem solving

AU - Steffensen, Sune Vork

AU - Vallée-Tourangeau, Frédéric

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - Our starting point in this chapter is the ecological tradition’s aspiration “to understand how organisms make their way in the world, not how a world is made inside of organisms” (Reed, 1996, p. 11). For an organism, “making one’s way in the world” is a continuous process: It is a behavioral and metabolic continuity whereby the organism-environment relation is regulated in a way that leaves traces in both the organism and the environment. The prerequisite for describing the organism-environment relation as being regulated is that the relation is sufficiently flexible: A living system’s flexible, adaptive behavior is enabled by cognition. Accordingly, a cognitive trajectory intertwines with the organism’s behavioral and metabolic processes. We define this cognitive trajectory as an emergent pattern in a dynamic organism-environment relation, managed by the organism through continuous action-perception cycles. On this view, cognition does not play out in a separate, mediational (mental) realm nor does it constitute a causal power that controls the organism’s metabolic and behavioral states. The chapter opens with a critical review of the mentalist view on cognition and problem solving, partly through a critique of the classic methods of decomposing problem solving and partly through a discussion of Ohlsson’s framework. After that, we present the ecological framework and suggests that from that perspective, problem-solving psychology is the “psychology of the suspended next.” We clarify this view through a presentation of how organism-environment interactivity gives rise to distinct cognitive trajectories in two case examples: one observed under laboratory conditions and one in the “wild.” Our main proposal is that, to understand problem solving, we need to take as a starting point how agents probe their cognitive ecology when their automatized routines fail, and they find themselves confronted with an impasse. Insights, on this view, are not achieved, but enacted.

AB - Our starting point in this chapter is the ecological tradition’s aspiration “to understand how organisms make their way in the world, not how a world is made inside of organisms” (Reed, 1996, p. 11). For an organism, “making one’s way in the world” is a continuous process: It is a behavioral and metabolic continuity whereby the organism-environment relation is regulated in a way that leaves traces in both the organism and the environment. The prerequisite for describing the organism-environment relation as being regulated is that the relation is sufficiently flexible: A living system’s flexible, adaptive behavior is enabled by cognition. Accordingly, a cognitive trajectory intertwines with the organism’s behavioral and metabolic processes. We define this cognitive trajectory as an emergent pattern in a dynamic organism-environment relation, managed by the organism through continuous action-perception cycles. On this view, cognition does not play out in a separate, mediational (mental) realm nor does it constitute a causal power that controls the organism’s metabolic and behavioral states. The chapter opens with a critical review of the mentalist view on cognition and problem solving, partly through a critique of the classic methods of decomposing problem solving and partly through a discussion of Ohlsson’s framework. After that, we present the ecological framework and suggests that from that perspective, problem-solving psychology is the “psychology of the suspended next.” We clarify this view through a presentation of how organism-environment interactivity gives rise to distinct cognitive trajectories in two case examples: one observed under laboratory conditions and one in the “wild.” Our main proposal is that, to understand problem solving, we need to take as a starting point how agents probe their cognitive ecology when their automatized routines fail, and they find themselves confronted with an impasse. Insights, on this view, are not achieved, but enacted.

U2 - 10.4324/9781315268118-9

DO - 10.4324/9781315268118-9

M3 - Book chapter

AN - SCOPUS:85049278821

SN - 9781138288065

T3 - Current issues in Thinking and Reasoning

SP - 169

EP - 190

BT - Insight

A2 - Vallee-Tourangeau, Frederic

PB - Routledge

ER -

Steffensen SV, Vallée-Tourangeau F. An ecological perspective on insight problem solving. I Vallee-Tourangeau F, red., Insight: On the Origins of New Ideas. Routledge. 2018. s. 169-190. (Current issues in Thinking and Reasoning). https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315268118-9