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Ekaterina Valueva1,2, Nadezhda Lapteva1,2
  • 1 Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, 29 Sretenka Str., Moscow, 127051, Russian Federation
  • 2 Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 13 build. 1, Yaroslavskaya Str., Moscow, 129366, Russian Federation

“Aha!” and “Oh Yes!”: How Emotions Affect Insight Experience

2023. Vol. 20. No. 3. P. 428–444 [issue contents]

Besides classical “Aha!” moments after successful solutions, researchers have recently examined the “Oh yes!” phenomenon, which occurs when participants are presented with ready-made answers. We investigated the influence of emotional state on insight ratings in these two situations. We propose two alternative models to predict the impact of emotional state on the likelihood of experiencing “Aha!” and “Oh yes!” moments. The first model is based on the feelings-as-information framework and predicts that a generally more positive mood can be attributed by participants to positive emotions from insight. Participants, interpreting their positive state, believe that it is due to insight and will be more likely to experience both “Aha!” and “Oh yes!” insights. The second hypothesis is based on the attribution theory and connects the evaluation of insight with causal attribution. The causes of failure are attributed to external circumstances, while the causes of success are attributed to internal factors. The prediction aligns with the first hypothesis in the case of correct solutions (success situations). However, in the case of unsuccessful solutions (failure situations), the prediction is opposite. We conducted a study using anagrams as the problem-solving task and employed mood-inducing videos to manipulate the participants' emotional state. Questionnaires assessing participants' states revealed that our interventions improved the participants' mood, reduced anxiety and fatigue. The results of the analysis supported the second hypothesis. We discuss that the mechanisms through which emotional state influences insight ratings may vary depending on the type of insight and may be related to different attentional focuses, decision-making strategies, or emotional congruence effects.

Citation: Valueva E., Lapteva N. (2023)

«Aga!» i «Akh, da!»: kak emotsii vliyayut na sub"ektivnoe perezhivanie insaĭta

[

“AHA!” AND “OH YES!”: HOW EMOTIONS AFFECT INSIGHT EXPERIENCE

]. Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, vol. 20, no 3, pp. 428-444 (in Russian)
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