What are the essential characteristics of insightful learning ?

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The common features of the experiments on insightful learning are as follows:

1. The nature of the experimental situation is very important for insightful learning. The organism must be able to perceive the relationships among all relevant parts of the problem before insight can occur.

2. The organism reacts to the whole situation, not to its component parts.

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3. The organism perceives the relationships between means and the goal, and restructures the perceptual field.

4. Insight follows a period of trial and error behavior. In the trial-and-error period, the organism does not, however/exhibit blind and random attacks as shown by Thorndike’s cat. On the other hand, it tests behavioral hypotheses in the form of accepting some and discarding others.

5. The insightful solution comes all on a sudden.

6. Once the insightful solution is reached, the organism shows high degree of retention and transfer to similar problems.

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7. Insight is closely related to the organism’s capacity to learn. The capacity for insightful learning depends on age, experience, and individual differences.

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