Guide Scenario Visualization: An Evolutionary Account of Creative Problem Solving (MIT Press)

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In the a given domain, the book distinguishes journey from black art to a truly scientific theory between different kinds of ontologies for ontology design, this book is an important and taxonomies, and shows how applied milestone. Throughout, the book provides concrete recommendations for the design and construction of domain ontologies. Robert Arp is a researcher and analyst for the U. Army at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, who has worked on ontologies for the U. Air Force and the National Institutes of Health.

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Hypothesis and Theory ARTICLE

Download pdf. Remember me on this computer. Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link. Need an account? One psychological model of creative cognition is the Geneplore model that considers two major phases of generation memory retrieval and mental synthesis and exploration conceptual interpretation and functional inference Finke et al. That said, the creativity literature is not completely devoid of acknowledging the role of the environment.


  1. The evolution of creativity.
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In fact, it is quite the opposite. In addition to studying how hints can help problem solving, researchers have also looked at how directed action can influence subsequent problem solving—e. There have also been numerous studies looking at how certain external perceptual cues are correlated with creativity measures. Vohs et al. Certain colors such as blue have been shown to help with creativity and attention to detail Mehta and Zhu, Even environmental illumination, or lack thereof, have been shown to promote creativity Steidle and Werth, However, it is important to note that while these and the substantial body of similar literature show the relationship of the environment to creative problem solving, they do not specifically account for the cognitive processes underlying the RWPS when external stimuli are received.

Analytical problem solving is believed to involve deliberate and conscious processing that advances step by step, allowing solvers to be able to explain exactly how they solved it. Inability to solve these problems is often associated with lack of required prior knowledge, which if provided, immediately makes the solution tractable. Insight, on the other hand, is believed to involve a sudden and unexpected emergence of an obvious solution or strategy sometimes accompanied by an affective aha! Solvers find it difficult to consciously explain how they generated a solution in a sequential manner.

That said, research has shown that having an aha!

Ontology Research Group - Robert Arp Vita

Generally, it is believed that insight solvers acquire a full and deep understanding of the problem when they have solved it Chu and Macgregor, There has been an active debate in the problem solving community about whether insight is something special. Some have argued that it is not, and that there are no special or spontaneous processes, but simply a good old-fashioned search of a large problem space Kaplan and Simon, ; MacGregor et al.

Others have argued that insight is special and suggested that it is likely a different process Duncker, ; Metcalfe, ; Kounios and Beeman, This debate lead to two theories for insight problem solving. MacGregor et al.


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  • The key aspect of CSPT is that the solver is continually monitoring their progress with some set of criteria. Impasses arise when there is a criterion failure, at which point the solver tries non-maximal but promising states. The representational change theory RCT proposed by Ohlsson et al. In order to overcome an impasse, the solver needs to restructure the problem representation, which they can do by 1 elaboration noticing new features of a problem , 2 re-encoding fixing mistaken or incomplete representations of the problem, and by 3 changing constraints.

    Changing constraints is believed to involve two sub-processes of constraint relaxation and chunk-decomposition. The current position is that these two theories do not compete with each other, but instead complement each other by addressing different stages of problem solving: pre- and post-impasse. Along these lines, Ollinger et al. Under this theory, a solver first forms a problem representation and begins searching for solutions, presumably using analytical problem solving processes as described earlier.

    Scenario Visualization: An Evolutionary Account of Creative Problem Solving

    When a solution cannot be found, the solver encounters an impasse, at which point the solver must restructure or change the problem representation and once again search for a solution. The model combines both analytical problem solving through heuristic searches, hill climbing and progress monitoring , and creative mechanisms of constraint relaxation and chunk decomposition to enable restructuring. Ollingers model appears to comprehensively account for both analytical and insight problem solving and, therefore, could be a strong candidate to model RWPS. However, while compelling, it is nevertheless an insufficient model of RWPS for many reasons, of which two are particularly significant for the current paper.

    First, the model does explicitly address mechanisms by which external stimuli might be assimilated. Second, the model is not sufficiently flexible to account for other events beyond impasse occurring during problem solving, such as distraction, mind-wandering and the like. So, where does this leave us?


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    I have shown the interplay between problem solving, creativity and insight. In particular, using Ollinger's proposal, I have suggested maybe not quite explicitly up until now that RWPS involves some degree of analytical problem solving as well as the post-impasse more creative modes of problem restructuring.

    I have also suggested that this model might need to be extended for RWPS along two dimensions. First, events such as impasses might just be an instance of a larger class of events that intervene during problem solving. Thus, there needs to be an accounting of the cognitive mechanisms that are potentially influenced by impasses and these other intervening events.

    🔴 Shift In Design Thinking and Problem Solving For Creatives

    It is possible that these sorts of events are crucial and trigger a switch in attentional focus, which in turn facilitates switching between different problem solving modes. Second, we need to consider when and how externally-triggered stimuli from the solver's environment can influence the problem solving process. I detail three different mechanisms by which external knowledge might influence problem solving.

    I address each of these ideas in more detail in the next two sections. When solving certain types of problems, the agent might encounter an impasse, i. The impasse may arise because the problem may have been ill-defined to begin with causing incomplete and unduly constrained representations to have been formed. Alternatively, impasses can occur when suitable solution strategies cannot be retrieved from memory or fail on execution.

    In certain instances, the solution strategies may not exist and may need to be generated from scratch. Regardless of the reason, an impasse is an interruption in the problem solving process; one that was running conflict-free up until the point when a seemingly unresolvable issue or an error in the predicted solution path was encountered. Seen as a conflict encountered in the problem-solving process it activates the anterior cingulate cortex ACC.

    Some mode switching duties are also found to be shared with the AI the ACC's partner in the salience network , however, it is unclear exactly the extent of this function-sharing. Even though it is debatable if impasses are a necessary component of insight, they are still important as they provide a starting point for the creativity Sprugnoli et al.

    Indeed, it is possible that around the moment of impasse, the AI and ACC together, as part of the salience network play a crucial role in switching thought modes from analytical planning mode to creative search and discovery mode. In the latter mode, various creative mechanisms might be activated allowing for a solution plan to emerge. Sowden et al. When discussing various dual-process models as they relate to creative cognition, Sowden et al. As noted earlier, in the presence of an impasse there is a shift from an exploitative analytical thinking mode to an exploratory creative thinking mode.

    This shift impacts several networks including, for example, the attention network. It is believed attention can switch between a focused mode and a defocused mode. Focused attention facilitates analytic thought by constraining activation such that items are considered in a compact form that is amenable to complex mental operations.

    1. Introduction

    In the defocused mode, agents expand their attention allowing new associations to be considered. The generally agreed position is that during generative thinking, unconscious cognitive processes activated through defocused attention are more prevalent, whereas during exploratory thinking, controlled cognition activated by focused attention becomes more prevalent Kaufman, ; Sowden et al.

    Defocused attention allows agents to not only process different aspects of a situation, but to also activate additional neural structures in long term memory and find new associations Mendelsohn, ; Yoruk and Runco, It is believed that cognitive material attended to and cued by positive affective state results in defocused attention, allowing for more complex cognitive contexts and therefore a greater range of interpretation and integration of information Isen et al. High attentional levels are commonly considered a typical feature of highly creative subjects Sprugnoli et al.

    Robert Arp

    In much of the past work the focus has been on treating creativity as largely an internal process engaging the DMN to assist in making novel connections in memory. These ideas can then function as seeds for testing and problem-solving. While true of many creative acts, this characterization does not capture how creative ideas arise in many real-world creative problems.

    In these types of problems, the agent is functioning and interacting with its environment before, during and after problem-solving. It is natural then to expect that stimuli from the environment might play a role in problem-solving. More specifically, it can be expected that through passive and active involvement with the environment, the agent is 1 able to trigger an unrelated, but potentially useful memory relevant for problem-solving, 2 make novel connections between two events in memory with the environmental cue serving as the missing link, and 3 incorporate a completely novel information from events occuring in the environment directly into the problem-solving process.

    I explore potential neural mechanisms for these three types of environmentally informed creative cognition, which I hypothesize are enabled by defocused attention. I have previously discussed the interaction between the MTL and PFC in helping select task-relevant and critical memories for problem-solving. It is well-known that pattern completion is an important function of the MTL and one that enables memory retrieval.

    Complementary Learning Theory CLS and its recently updated version suggest that the MTL and related structures support initial storage as well as retrieval of item and context-specific information Kumaran et al. These patterns might be distinct even if experiences are similar and are stabilized through increases in connection strengths between the DG and CA3. Crucially, because of the connection strengths, reactivation of part of the pattern can activate the rest of it i.

    Kumaran et al. Cues in the environment provided by these experiences hold partial information about past stimuli or events and this partial information converges in the MTL. CLS accounts for how these cues might serve to reactivate partial patterns, thereby triggering pattern completion. When attention is defocused I hypothesize that 1 previously unnoticed partial cues are considered, and 2 previously noticed partial cues are decomposed to produce previously unnoticed sub-cues, which in turn are considered. Zabelina et al. In two experiments they systematically explored the relationship between two notions of creativity— divergent thinking and real-world creative achievement—and the use of attention.

    They found that attentional use is associated in different ways for each of the two notions of creativity. While divergent thinking was associated with flexible attention, it does not appear to be leaky.