Incubation

Incubation is the phenomenon whereby an insightful solution to a difficult problem comes about after a break period during which the problem solver refrained or was prevented to work on the problem that hitherto resisted a solution. Research on incubation is particularly fascinating because it offers a window on the genesis of new ideas or insight. However, the potential for the incubation creativity boost has not been fully explored up to now with current models of incubation, and specifically little attention has been paid to the post-incubation context, that is the physical task environment when a person resumes work on the problem. The origin of new ideas may not strictly be a mental phenomenon explicated in terms of changes to a mental representation of the world. Creativity is an emergent and enacted process of idea reification through action. No current models or experimental methodology in incubation research has considered the enactment hypothesis. The transactional logic of creativity behoves researchers to investigate incubation in task environments designed to afford interaction with a physical model of the problem. This theoretical perspective and its associated methodological consequences have not been systematically explored in the current incubation literature.

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