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Seeing What Others Don’t by Gary Klein

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CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

The Magic of Insights

INSIGHTS OFTEN APPEAR LIKE MAGIC because all we see is the surprising finale, the rabbit popping out of the hat. We don’t see the steps leading up to that finale, the years that the magician spent practicing, the design of the hat, the way the rabbit was smuggled on stage, the way the magician’s assistant leaned forward to give us a glimpse of her cleavage at a critical instant.

Graham Wallas’s model of insight helped foster the impression of insight as magic. Wallas highlighted the unpredictable flash of illumination, the rabbit suddenly drawn from the hat.

Although we may not be able to predict the exact instant when a person has an insight, the process is not as mysterious as many people think. Earlier ...

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