Does insight problem solving predict real-world creativity?

Roger E. Beaty, Emily C. Nusbaum, Paul J. Silvia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Insight problems are commonly used to assess creative problem solving. Such problems are often employed by proponents of the associative view of creativity-the notion that creative ideas result from unconscious processes. Surprisingly little is known, however, about how well performance on insight problems predicts real-world creativity. In two studies, we explored the contribution of several classic insight problems in creative achievement (Study 1; n = 133) and everyday creative behavior (Study 2; n = 173). We also assessed the role of personality and fluid intelligence, two well-established predictors of real-world creativity, to determine their relative influence beyond the effect of insight. Both studies found no evidence for a relationship between insight problem solving and creative behavior and achievement. Openness to experience and fluid intelligence, however, showed notable effects on both behavior and achievement. The present work thus raises the question of whether insight problem solving relates to real-world creativity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-292
Number of pages6
JournalPsychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Applied Psychology


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