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The purpose of this thesis is to illustrate a novel way of researching how people solve different types of problems which is consistent with an embodied and extended view of cognition. I will present evidence from four studies which range from classic in-lab problem solving tasks to the creative process of an artist working with a difficult new material. All four demonstrate a focus on the finely grained analysis of participant behaviour as a way of understanding how problems are solved and the thesis will demonstrate how this qualitative method can enhance our understanding of the quantitative results which are most commonly reported. Additionally, the qualitative results will allow explanatory mechanisms to be identified which are not currently accounted for in the problem solving literature.
After completing my undergraduate degree at St Hugh's College, Oxford in languages and literature, I joined Teach First in 2004.
In 2016, I started the MSc in Psychology at Kingston which I completed in 2018 with a distinction winning both the Post Graduate Poster Prize and the Cohort Prize. After a year volunteering as a Research Assistant with the Developmental Psychology research group and the Systemic Cognition Lab, I started my PhD in October 2018 and submitted it in December 2020.
I am currently secretary of the Serendipity Society and senior editor of the Palgrave Encyclopedia of the Possible.
Ross, Wendy and Vallée-Tourangeau, Frédéric (2021) Accident and agency : a mixed methods study contrasting luck and interactivity in problem solving. Thinking & Reasoning, ISSN (print) 1354-6783 (Epub Ahead of Print)
Ross, Wendy and Vallée-Tourangeau, Frédéric (2021) Rewilding cognition : complex dynamics in open experimental systems. Journal of Trial and Error, ISSN (online) 2667-1204 (Epub Ahead of Print)
Ross, Wendy and Vallee-Tourangeau, Frederic (2021) Catch that word : interactivity, serendipity and verbal fluency in a word production task. Psychological Research, 85, pp. 842-856. ISSN (print) 0340-0727
Vallée-Tourangeau, Frédéric, Ross, Wendy, Ruffatto Rech, Renata and Vallée-Tourangeau, Gaëlle (2020) Insight as discovery. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, ISSN (print) 2044-5911 (Epub Ahead of Print)
Ross, Wendy, Vallee-Tourangeau, Frederic and Van Herwegen, Jo (2020) Mental arithmetic and interactivity : the effect of manipulating external number representations on older children's mental arithmetic success. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 18, pp. 985-1000. ISSN (print) 1571-0068
Ross, Wendy and Vallee-Tourangeau, Frederic (2018) 'For a good poet's made, as well as born' : the relational ontology of Shakespeare's genius. Creativity. Theories - Research - Applications, 5(1), pp. 26-40. ISSN (online) 2354-0036
Ross, Wendy, Smith, Sam and Vistic, J. E. (2020) Collaborative creativity. In: Glaveanu, Vlad Petre, (ed.) The Palgrave encyclopedia of the possible. Cham, Switzerland : Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9783319983905
Ross, Wendy and Vallée-Tourangeau, Frédéric (2019) Unknitting the meshwork : interactivity, serendipity and individual differences in a word production task. In: 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (COGSCI 2019) : Creativity + Cognition + Computation; 24 - 27 July 2019, Montreal, Canada.
Ross, Wendy (2020) On the trail of a thought : a kinenoetic analysis of problem-solving. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .
Ross, Wendy, Vallee-Tourangeau, Frederic and Glaveanu, Vlad (2019) Collaboration. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-809324-5.23838-8
2020 Conference Chair, Serendipity and Cognitive Science, Online Symposium
Conference Chair, Creativity Week, Webster University, Geneva
2019 Conference Chair, Serendipity Society Annual Conference, London
2020 MIC Conference, Marconi Institute for Creativity, Session Chair
Webinars and Workshops
2020 Seeking serendipity: Strategies to promote serendipity in the workplace. Norfolk Chamber of Commerce (webinar).
2020 Developing creativity in the classroom, Developing Minds Research Group, Kingston University
2020 Panel Discussion: Through the Looking Glass, Webster University Geneva.
2020 Material traces: Novel methods to study systemic thinking (remote presentation), Webster University, Geneva
2020 New directions in creativity research (remote presentation), University of Arizona.
2020 Accident and sagacity (remote presentation). Schoenberg Society Seminar at Pärnu Days of Contemporary Music
2019 The consequences of serendipity for real world creativity and innovation. Webster University, Geneva.
2019 Serendipity and problem solving. University of Buckingham
Ross, W. (2020) Between the cracks: A case study of accidents, constraints and signs of new growth. MIC Conference, Marconi Institute for Creativity (online conference)
Ross, W. (2020) Accidental thinking: The relational nature of serendipity and the implications for models of higher cognitive processes. Serendipity and Cognitive Science (online symposium)
Ross, W. (2019) Microserendipity and higher cognitive processes, The Serendipity Society Annual Conference, City University.
Ross W. & Vallée-Tourangeau, F. (2019). Microserendipity in the creative process, MIC Conference, Bologna: Marconi Institute for Creativity
Ross, W. (2019). The importance of serendipity, Webster Creativity Week, Geneva: Webster University
Ross, W. & Vallée-Tourangeau, F. (2019). First order problem solving and the emergence of serendipity. iCog5, Reading University
Ross, W. (2017). Interactivity and mental arithmetic: the use of manipulatives aids addition in KS2 pupils. Systemic Cognition Symposium, Kingston University