Eye movements as indicator of solution knowledge in anagram solving



The current study attempted to replicate the results of Ellis et al. (2011) in an extended way. In the original study Ellis et al. demonstrated that eye movements may indicate the solution knowledge prior to response. They compared viewing times on the distractor letter vs. solution letters. Viewing time on distractor letter started decreasing since several seconds prior to response both in insight and non-insight trials. We added two additional parameters of anagrams: solution-word frequency and frequency of cooccurrence (“agglutination”) of the distractor letter with the solution letters. Low-frequency words and/or stimuli with high agglutinating distractor were solved less often and longer than others, with the effect of distractor type only for the low-frequency words. Eye-tracking data analysis revealed that either in insight and non-insight trials distractor did not differ from solution letters in the first half of the solving process, but had fewer viewing time in the second half of the solving process. In the more difficult stimuli (by solution- word frequency and distractor type) distractor was revealed later than in easier ones or did not differ at all. Eye-tracking data on viewing time on distractor vs. solution letters were in accordance with the Ellis et al.’s results and the anagram difficulty factors.

General Information

Keywords: insight, anagram, eye movements

Journal rubric: Cognitive Psychology

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/exppsy.2016090304

For citation: Lapteva E.M. Eye movements as indicator of solution knowledge in anagram solving. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2016. Vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 41–53. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2016090304. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Ekaterina M. Lapteva, PhD in Psychology, Researcher, Laboratory for Psychology and Psychophysiology of Creativity, Institute of Psychology of RAS, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3051-6492, e-mail: ek.lapteva@gmail.com



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