The Nature of Insight

The Nature of Insight

Edited by Janet E. Davidson and Robert J. Sternberg

A Bradford Book





The Nature of Insight brings together diverse perspectives, including recent theories and discoveries, to examine the nature and origins of insightful thinking, as well as the history of theory and research on the topic and the methods used to study it. There are chapters by the leading experts in this field, including Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ronald Finke, Howard Gruber, Marcel Just, David Meyer, David Perkins, Dean Simonton, and Robert Weisberg, among others.

The Nature of Insight is divided into five main parts. Following an introduction that reviews the history and methods of the field, part II looks at how people solve challenging puzzles whose answers cannot be obtained through ordinary means. Part III focuses on how people come up with ideas for new inventions, while part IV explores the thinking of some of the most insightful people in the history of civilization. Part V considers metaphors such as evolution and investment as bases for understanding insight. An epilogue integrates all these approaches.

ContributorsR.E. Mayer, R.L. Dominowsk, P. Dallob, C.M. Seifert, D.E. Meyer, N. Davidson, A.J. Patalano, I. Yaniv, J.E. Davidson, R.W. Weisberg, M.L. Gick, R.S. Lockhart, S.M. Smith, R.A. Finke, M.I. Isaak, M.A. Just, M. Csikszentmihalyi, K. Sawyer, K. Dunbar, H.E. Gruber, M.F. Ippolito, R.D. Tweney, D.K. Simonton, D.N. Perkins, R.J. Sternberg, T.I. Lubart

A Bradford Book


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262193450 636 pp. | 6 in x 8.7 in


$45.00 X ISBN: 9780262691871 636 pp. | 6 in x 8.7 in


Janet E. Davidson

Robert J. Sternberg


  • The Nature of Insight is an excellent and timely volume on a fascinating process of human creativity. Insight has intrigued scholars for centuries and this volume is an excellent contribution to the current rebirth of interest in this phenomenon. It is highly readable and broadly representative presentation of current thinking with various chapters describing how insight has been studied in the past and how it is being studied now. A range of approaches is described from laboratory studies to analysis of the insight processes of thinkers in the context of their work. Affective and social as well as cognitive aspects of insight are considered in this noteworthy work.

    Robert Glaser

    Director, Learning Research and DEvelopment Center, University of Pittsburgh