Three experiments investigated the effects of two hints derived from the Criterion for Satisfactory Progress theory (CSP) and Representational Change Theory (RCT) on the cheap necklace problem (insight problem). In Experiment 1, fewer participants given the CSP hint used an incorrect (maximizing) first move than participants given the RCT hint or control participants given no hint on a single attempt at the problem. Experiment 2 found the number of trials to solution was fewer in the CSP condition than in the control over ten trials, and there were fewer incorrect first moves in the CSP. The results appear to support the CSP theory. However, in Experiment 3, the CSP and RCT hints were combined yielding a 75% solution rate over 34.88% in the control. Perhaps aspects from both theories are employed during the problem solving process.
Chu, Yun; Dewald, Andrew D.; and Chronicle, Edward P.
"Theory Driven Hints in the Cheap Necklace Problem: A Preliminary Investigation,"
The Journal of Problem Solving:
2, Article 4.