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Like this poster, I often find that when I'm stuck on a problem, the mere act of formulating a problem as a question to post on StackOverflow is sufficient to make me think about it in a new way, and consequently solve it on my own. I'm almost certain I've heard a name for this psychological effect before, but I can't seem to put my finger on it, and searching for it isn't bringing up any results I recognise. Does anyone have any leads on this?

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5  
Thinking?...... –  James McNellis May 6 '10 at 0:38
    
@James: Haha...good, but not quite. You know...the "I just answered my own question by asking it" effect. I just thought I had heard another name for it. –  Jon Purdy May 6 '10 at 0:40
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Do you mean like cardboard programmer or rubber duck debugger?

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Ironically, the second article contains a reference to stackoverflow.com/questions/1106683/…, of which this question is a duplicate. –  John Saunders May 6 '10 at 1:05
    
The rubber duck! I knew it had a fun anecdote to go with. @John: My apologies for lack of proper search procedures. –  Jon Purdy May 6 '10 at 1:11
    
why link to mobile wikipedia? –  jmfsg May 6 '10 at 2:20
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@down because I'm on my iPod while holding the grumpy baby, feel free to edit the link or I will when I get the use of both hands again –  Rich Seller May 6 '10 at 7:24
    
I was just curious, I admire your ability to still answer while holding a baby @rich –  jmfsg May 6 '10 at 12:41
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Wait a second -- Wikipedia cites that SO question, but the accepted answer to that question merely links to Wikipedia. –  mmyers May 6 '10 at 15:07
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if only you were experiencing it now...

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Just my luck, eh? –  Jon Purdy May 6 '10 at 0:42
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