Armyanskii ln., 4-2, Moscow, 101000, Russia


Sergey Yagolkovskiy1, Bogdan Medvedev1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Psychological Methods to Loosen Functional Fixedness

2021. Vol. 18. No. 3. P. 643–655 [issue contents]
This is the second part of research on functional fixedness, a phenomenon of inhibition of creative thinking. Numerous methods to loosen functional fixedness are analyzed. The core principle of these methods is the enrichment of associative space serving as a source for creative ideas and solutions. Some ways to loosen functional fixedness are based on theories and methods presented in scientific literature (e.g., forgetting fixation theory (Smith, 1994), opportunistic assimilation hypothesis (Seifert et al., 1994), etc.). Methods aimed at reducing functional fixedness differ from each other by the degree of generalization. Some of them are based on general recommendation of how to improve creative thinking, other methods are more specific providing detailed instruction what to do. Different parameters of these instructions and ways of their presentation are analyzed. We also examine the role of categorization, past experience, and switching to another activity as factors affecting functional fixedness. Additionally, other approaches are considered, which based on the assumption that this phenomenon is not an unambiguous antagonist of creative thinking, but can help to increase its effectiveness. It takes place if a subject is aware of the influence of past experience on creative thinking and deeply understands the structure of the problem to be solved. In research on functional fixedness, there is a tendency to identify and examine its specific components. This can lead to the development of new targeted methods to loosen functional fixedness.
Citation: Yagolkovskiy S., Medvedev B. (2021) Psikhologicheskie metody snizheniya funktsional'noy fiksirovannosti  [Psychological Methods to Loosen Functional Fixedness ]. Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, vol. 18, no 3, pp. 643-655 (in Russian)
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