Why Good Thoughts Block Better Ones: The Mechanism of the Pernicious Einstellung (set) Effect

04.25.11 Cognition is an international journal that publishes theoretical and experimental papers on the study of the mind. It covers a wide variety of subjects concerning all the different aspects of cognition, ranging from biological and experimental studies to formal analysis. In this article the Einstellung (set) effect is considered using chess players as test subjects. The Einstellung (set) effect occurs when the first idea that comes to mind, triggered by similar features of a problem, prevents a better solution from being found.

Thanks to Paul Wlodkowski for contributing to this report.

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Bilalic, M., McLeod, P., Gobet, F., (2008). Why good thoughts block better ones: The mechanism of the pernicious Einstellung (set) effect. Cognition, 108, 652-661.

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