The Nature and Consequences of Aha-Experiences


We try to understand the nature and consequences of Aha-experiences. We examine an account published by Topolinski and Reber that combines different attributes of this experience into a single theory.

Currently, we study Aha-experiences in everyday life, at school, and in religion. Participants write down an Aha-experience and then answer different questions related to this specific experience.


Topolinski and Reber (2010) based their account on experimental findings on effects of processing fluency, which is the ease with which a mental operation is performed, and of suddenness. Our survey data validate with a different method this theory and by and large confirm it.


The background is fluency theory (see Reber, Winkielman, & Schwarz, 2004).


This project has been funded by a PhD-fellowship of the University of Oslo.


We collaborate in this project with: Sascha Topolinski, University of Cologne


We use online survey and experiment software, like SurveyXact and Qualtrics. The studies have been conducted with students in the laboratory and online.

Interested in reading more?

Reber, R., Schwarz, N., & Winkielman, P. (2004). Processing fluency and aesthetic pleasure: Is beauty in the perceiver's processing experience? Personality and Social Psychology Review, 8, 364–382.

Topolinski, S., & Reber, R. (2010). Gaining insight into the „Aha“-experience. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19, 402-405.

Published Mar. 19, 2015 1:27 PM - Last modified Mar. 20, 2015 1:54 PM