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Title:Directed Actions Guide Insight in Problem Solving
Author(s):Thomas, Laura Elizabeth
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Irwin, David E.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Experimental
Abstract:Accumulating evidence within the embodied cognition literature shows that mental simulations, situated action, and bodily states underlie cognition, but researchers have done relatively little work to examine whether cognitive processes can arise from the manner in which our bodies interact with the immediate environment, nor whether it is possible to guide people's thoughts by manipulating their actions. The mind uses the body to accomplish cognitive goals, but can we make the body move in ways that guide the mind? I conducted a series of experiments that investigated embodied cognition in problem-solving tasks, examining the influence of directed actions on higher-order cognition. By experimentally directing participants' movements for a small portion of time as they tried to solve an insight problem---whether these were subtle movements of the eyes (Experiment 1), movements of attention (Experiment 2), or large movements of the arms (Experiments 3--4)---I was able to substantially alter their chances of successfully solving that problem. This research adds a new dimension to the embodied cognition literature, providing evidence for a causal link between action and cognition.
Issue Date:2008
Description:84 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3337940
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2008

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