# Surprise! Why Insightful Solution Is Pleasurable

^{1}

^{2}

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## Abstract

**:**

## 1. Introduction

## 2. Hypotheses

- The expectation scale:
- The 7th problem will be more expected than the 1st problem in the same principle (SP) and same structure and principle (SSP) groups but will not change in the different principle (DP) group.
- The 8th problem will be more unexpected than the 7th problem in the same principle (SP) and same structure and principle (SSP) groups but not in the different principle (DP) group.

- The pleasure scale:
- The 7th problem will be less pleasurable than the 1st problem in the SP and SSP groups but not in the DP group.
- The 8th problem will be more pleasurable than the 7th problem in the SP and SSP groups but not in the DP group.

- The surprise scale:
- The 7th problem will be less surprising than the 1st problem in the SP and SSP groups but not in the DP group.
- The 8th problem will be more surprising than the 7th problem in the SP and SSP groups but not in the DP group.

- The solution time:
- The 7th problem will require less time than the 1st problem in the SP and SSP groups but will not change in the DP group.
- The 8th problem will require more time than the 7th problem in the SP and SSP groups but not in the DP group, where the solution time of the 7th and 8th problems will be the same.

## 3. Method

#### 3.1. Participants

#### 3.2. Stimuli

#### 3.3. Procedure

#### 3.4. Design

#### 3.5. Data Processing

## 4. Results

#### 4.1. Endogenous and Induced Insights

^{2}= .315; unpleasure, F(1, 84) = 32.65, p < .001, η

^{2}= .271; surprise, F(1, 84) = 7.95, p = .006, η

^{2}= .085; certainty, F(1, 84) = 5.93, p = .017, η

^{2}= .061; and expectation, F(1, 84) = 5.24, p = .025, η

^{2}= .058. Based on these results, solutions with induced insight were excluded from further analyses.

#### 4.2. Subjective Rating of Expectation

_{1}= 4.1, SD

_{1}= 2.1 and M

_{7}= 2.5, SD

_{7}= 1.9), t(43) = 2.58, p = .013, Cohen’s d = 0.794, and in the SSP group (M

_{1}= 3.7, SD

_{1}= 2.3 and M

_{7}= 1.7, SD

_{7}= 1.8), t(44) = 3.21, p = .003, Cohen’s d = 1.008. At the same time, expectations did not change in the DP group (M

_{1}= 3.5, SD

_{1}= 2.2 and M

_{7}= 3.1, SD

_{7}= 2.1), t(39) = 0.67, p = .509.

_{7}= 1.7, SD

_{7}= 1.8 and M

_{8}= 3.2, SD

_{8}= 1.9), t(58) = –2.99, p = .004, Cohen’s d = –0.773. These differences were not significant for the DP group (M

_{7}= 3.1, SD

_{7}= 2.1 and M

_{8}= 3.5, SD

_{8}= 2), t(49) = –0.71, p = .482, and the SP group (M

_{7}= 2.5, SD

_{7}= 1.9 and M

_{8}= 2.5, SD

_{8}= 1.8), t(56) = 0.005, p = .996. In general, only the critical problem of the SSP group became more unexpected after the problem set.

^{2}= .084. Post hoc comparisons with the Holm–Bonferroni adjustment found that the 7th problem of the SSP group is more expected than the 7th problem of the DP group, p = .025, 95% C.I. = 0.2, 2.6. Analogous analysis of the 8th problem showed no significant differences.

#### 4.3. Subjective Rating of Pleasure

_{1}= 5.3, SD

_{1}= 1.6 and M

_{7}= 5.4, SD

_{7}= 1.4), t(39) = –0.25, p = .804, and the SP group (M

_{1}= 5.8, SD

_{1}= 1.1 and M

_{7}= 5.7, SD

_{7}= 1.3), t(43) = 0.13, p = .897. The SSP group showed significant differences (M

_{1}= 5.3, SD

_{1}= 1.8 and M

_{7}= 3.5, SD

_{7}= 2.2), t(44) = 2.74, p = .009, Cohen’s d = 0.861.

_{7}= 5.4, SD

_{7}= 1.4 and M

_{8}= 5.6, SD

_{8}= 1.3), t(49) = –0.47, p = .643, and the SP group (M

_{7}= 5.7, SD

_{7}= 1.3 and M

_{8}= 4.9, SD

_{8}= 1.9), t(56) = 1.85, p = .069. However, the difference was found for the SSP group (M

_{7}= 3.5, SD

_{7}= 2.2 and M

_{8}= 4.9, SD

_{8}= 1.9), t(58) = –2.57, p = .013, Cohen’s d = –0.665.

^{2}= .264. Post hoc comparisons with the Holm–Bonferroni adjustment found that the 7th problem of the SSP group is less pleasurable than the 7th problem of the DP group, p < .001, 95% C.I. = 0.8, 2.9 and the 7th problem of the SP group, p < .001, 95% C.I. = 1.2, 3.3. Analysis of the 8th problem showed no significant differences.

#### 4.4. Subjective Rating of Surprise

_{1}= 3.1, SD

_{1}= 1.8 and M

_{7}= 3.5, SD

_{7}= 2.1), t(39) = –0.68, p = .502. The 1st and 7th problems were significantly different in the SP group (M

_{1}= 3.8, SD

_{1}= 1.8 and M

_{7}= 2.8, SD

_{7}= 1.6), t(43) = 2.04, p = .047, Cohen’s d = 0.628, and the SSP group (M

_{1}= 3.3, SD

_{1}= 2.1 and M

_{7}= 1.4, SD

_{7}= 1.1), t(44) = 4.00, p < .001, Cohen’s d = 1.258. Thus, the hypothesis was confirmed.

_{7}= 3.5, SD

_{7}= 2.1 and M

_{8}= 3.9, SD

_{8}= 2.1), t(49) = –0.72, p = .477, and the SP group (M

_{7}= 2.8, SD

_{7}= 1.6 and M

_{8}= 2.5, SD

_{8}= 1.8), t(56) = 0.48, p = .635. The 8th problem of the SSP group was more surprising than the 7th (M

_{7}= 1.4, SD

_{7}= 1.1 and M

_{8}= 3.1, SD

_{8}= 2), t(58) = –4.12, p < .001, Cohen’s d = –1.065.

^{2}= .232. Post hoc comparisons with the Holm–Bonferroni adjustment found that the 7th problem of the SSP group is less surprising than the 7th problem of the DP group, p < .001, 95% C.I. = 1.1, 3.2, and the 7th problem of the SP group, p = .004, 95% C.I. = 0.3, 2.4. Analysis of the 8th problem also showed influence of the group factor, F(2, 81) = 3.33, p = .041, η

^{2}= .076. The 8th problem of the DP group is assessed as more surprising than the 8th problem of the SP group, p = .035, 95% C.I. = 0.1, 2.7.

#### 4.5. Solution Time

_{1}= 64.7, SD

_{1}= 73.1 and M

_{7}= 55.2, SD

_{7}= 55.3), t(39) = 0.47, p = .638. However, there were differences in the SP (M

_{1}= 115.6, SD

_{1}= 93.8 and M

_{7}= 57.4, SD

_{7}= 65.0), t(43) = 2.46, p = .018, Cohen’s d = 0.755, and SSP groups (M

_{1}= 64.5, SD

_{1}= 61.4 and M

_{7}= 24.3, SD

_{7}= 37.4), t(44) = 2.76, p = .008, Cohen’s d = 0.868.

#### 4.6. Correlation of Expectation, Pleasure and Surprise

## 5. Discussion

#### 5.1. Expectation

#### 5.2. Subjective Scales of Aha! Experience (Pleasure and Surprise)

#### 5.3. Correlation of Expectation, Pleasure and Surprise

#### 5.4. Solution Time

## 6. General Discussion

## 7. Conclusions

## Author Contributions

## Funding

## Institutional Review Board Statement

## Informed Consent Statement

## Data Availability Statement

## Conflicts of Interest

## Appendix A

Different Principle | Same Principle | Same Structure and Principle |
---|---|---|

A father with a sly smile asks to his seven year old son: «Tell me the largest number». When he gets an answer, he just shakes his head in surprise, not knowing what to say. What number did the son say? Solution: 31th, because the son thought about the number of days in the month (in Russian «number» is not only «digit», but also «date») | Sally Lou likes eucalyptus more than pines. She likes electric lights and doesn’t like to sit by candlelight. Eccentric people cause her more sympathy than balanced ones. What do you think, who is Sally Lu by profession—an economist or an accountant? Solution: she is an economist. She prefers all with the first letter «E» | It does not fit in the ocean, there is one in the sea, but there is two in the suitcase. What is it? Solution: letter «S» |

According to statistics, 10% of all people prefer privacy and 80% of them have unlisted phone numbers. If you selected 400 names at random from the town’s phone directory, how many of these people selected would have unlisted phone numbers? Solution: None, unlisted phone numbers are not in the directory | It does not fit in the ocean, there is one in the sea, but there is two in the suitcase. What is it? Solution: letter «S» | There is one in a minute and two in a moment, but only one in a million years. What is it? Solution: letter «M» |

Two people came to the river at the same time. However, the boat on which they can cross the river can support only one person. Each of them, without outside help, crossed on this boat to the other side. How did they do that? Solution: two people were on opposite sides of the river | Make one word from the set of letters below: R O W E D O N Solution: one word | There is the beginning of the end, the end of each segment, but does not occur in the middle. What is it? Solution: It is Russian version of the problem: «I am the beginning of the end, and the end of time and space. I am essential to creation, and I surround every place. What am I?» The answer of Russian version is a letter «E» like in the English version |

The dog was tied to a 10 m rope but walked forward 300 m. How did she do it? Solution: the rope was not tied | Initially, this word consists of nine letters, but it can be written with two letters. Previously, it was written with ten letters, and now with three. What are we talking about? Solution: it is «initially», «it», «previously» and «now» words | The beginning of foundations, the middle of an aeon, but the end of space. What is it? Solution: the problem is analog to the previous one. The answer of Russian version is letter «O» |

Once two fathers and two sons found three oranges. They divided them among themselves so that each got one orange. How could this happen? Solution: there were three people (grandfather, father and son) | Where does the wedlock go first, and only then the engagement? Solution: dictionary | Twice included in a circle, once in a triangle, but not included in a square. What is it? Solution: the problem is analog to the previous one. The answer of Russian version is letter «O» |

How can the number of 66 be increased by one and a half times without performing any arithmetic operations? Solution: it needs to be flipped | There is a wrong word in the dictionary. What word is it? Solution: wrong | The girl and the man have it, but the woman is lost. What is it? Solution: the problem is analog to the previous one. The answer of Russian version is letter «Ч [tch]» |

Three doctors have a brother Sergei, but Sergei has no brothers. How can this be? Solution: doctors are women and Sergei’s sisters | There is one in a minute and two in a moment, but only one in a million years. What is it? Solution: letter «M» | Every poet has it, but every artist exists without it, although an etude cannot be called an etude without it. What is it? Solution: letter «E» |

The harp has four of them, the guitar and dombra have six, and the cello has five. What is it? (it is a critical problem) Solution: letters | A man jumped out of a plane without a parachute. He landed on solid ground, but remained unharmed. Why? (it is a critical problem) Solution: the plane was on the ground |

Group | Subjective Scale | Serial Number of Problems | M | SD | df | t | p-Level | Cohen’s d |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Different principle | Unpleasure | 1 & 7 | 1.5 | 0.7 | 39 | −0.40 | .693 | −0.13 |

1.6 | 1.3 | |||||||

7 & 8 | 1.6 | 1.3 | 49 | −0.37 | .715 | −0.10 | ||

1.8 | 1.5 | |||||||

Suddenness | 1 & 7 | 4.5 | 2.0 | 39 | −0.68 | .502 | −0.22 | |

5.0 | 2.2 | |||||||

7 & 8 | 5.0 | 2.2 | 49 | −0.43 | .672 | −0.12 | ||

5.2 | 1.8 | |||||||

Certainty | 1 & 7 | 5.8 | 1.7 | 39 | −0.01 | .989 | −0.01 | |

5.8 | 1.7 | |||||||

7 & 8 | 5.8 | 1.7 | 49 | −0.55 | .584 | −0.15 | ||

6.0 | 1.3 | |||||||

Same principle | Unpleasure | 1 & 7 | 1.9 | 1.0 | 43 | 1.94 | .059 | 0.60 |

1.4 | 0.8 | |||||||

7 & 8 | 1.4 | 0.8 | 56 | −0.94 | .350 | −0.25 | ||

1.7 | 1.5 | |||||||

Suddenness | 1 & 7 | 5.2 | 2.1 | 43 | 0.42 | .679 | 0.13 | |

5.0 | 2.1 | |||||||

7 & 8 | 5.0 | 2.1 | 56 | −1.64 | .108 | −0.43 | ||

5.8 | 1.8 | |||||||

Certainty | 1 & 7 | 5.4 | 1.7 | 43 | −2.25 | .030 | −0.69 | |

6.4 | 1.1 | |||||||

7 & 8 | 6.4 | 1.1 | 56 | 1.01 | .317 | 0.27 | ||

6.0 | 1.3 | |||||||

Same structure & principle | Unpleasure | 1 & 7 | 1.3 | 0.8 | 44 | −1.69 | .099 | −0.53 |

2.2 | 2.0 | |||||||

7 & 8 | 2.2 | 2.0 | 58 | 1.97 | .054 | 0.51 | ||

1.4 | 0.9 | |||||||

Suddenness | 1 & 7 | 5.2 | 1.9 | 44 | −0.44 | .664 | −0.14 | |

5.5 | 2.5 | |||||||

7 & 8 | 5.5 | 2.5 | 58 | 0.29 | .777 | 0.07 | ||

5.3 | 2.2 | |||||||

Certainty | 1 & 7 | 5.9 | 1.1 | 44 | −1.49 | .143 | −0.47 | |

6.5 | 1.2 | |||||||

7 & 8 | 6.5 | 1.2 | 58 | 1.31 | .196 | 0.34 | ||

6.0 | 1.5 |

## Note

1 | This section presents the results of three subjective scales—expectation, pleasure and surprise. The results for the rest of the scales can be found at Table A2 of Appendix A. |

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**Figure 1.**Subjective rating of expectations in different groups (1—expected solution, 7—unexpected). Note. Vertical bars denote standard errors. DP—different principle group, SP—same principle group, SSP—same structure and principle group.

**Figure 2.**Subjective ratings of pleasure in different groups (1—unpleasure solution, 7—pleasure). Note. Vertical bars denote standard errors. DP—different principle group, SP—same principle group, SSP—same structure and principle group.

**Figure 3.**Subjective ratings of surprise in different groups (1—unsurprise solution, 7—surprise). Note. Vertical bars denote standard errors. DP—different principle group, SP—same principle group, SSP—same structure and principle group.

**Figure 4.**Solution times of different groups. Note. Vertical bars denote standard errors. DP—different principle group, SP—same principle group, SSP—same structure and principle group.

Serial Number of Problem | ||||||||
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

1st | 2nd | 3rd | 4th | 5th | 6th | 7th | 8th | |

Different principle | 48.4 | 90.3 | 90 | 61.3 | 86.2 | 83.9 | 83.9 | 83.3 |

Same principle | 60.7 | 80.7 | 90 | 76.7 | 77.4 | 87.1 | 90.3 | 96.8 |

Same structure and principle | 48.4 | 77.4 | 83.9 | 93.5 | 93.5 | 100 | 100 | 93.5 |

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Savinova, A.; Korovkin, S.
Surprise! Why Insightful Solution Is Pleasurable. *J. Intell.* **2022**, *10*, 98.
https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence10040098

**AMA Style**

Savinova A, Korovkin S.
Surprise! Why Insightful Solution Is Pleasurable. *Journal of Intelligence*. 2022; 10(4):98.
https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence10040098

**Chicago/Turabian Style**

Savinova, Anna, and Sergei Korovkin.
2022. "Surprise! Why Insightful Solution Is Pleasurable" *Journal of Intelligence* 10, no. 4: 98.
https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence10040098