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Luchins, A.S., & Luchins, E.H. (1950). New experimental attempts at preventing mechanization in problem solving. Journal of General Psychology, 42, 279-297. (pdf)
In this experiment, participants are asked how to produce a certain amount of liquid given three different sizes of measuring apparatus (water jugs). They are given several problems that fit a particular form (a-b+c, for instance), then some that can be solved more easily in another way. This produces an effect where participants use the solution method they are used to rather than the one that would be most efficient -- a phenomenon referred to as a "mental set" for a particular solution.
Hilgard, E.R. Theories of learning. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1948.

Duncker, K. On problem-solving. Psychol. Monog., 1945, 58, No. 270, 1-113. (Translated by Lynne S. Lees.)

Katona, G. Organizing and memorizing. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1939.

Luchins, A.S. Mechanization in problem solving. Psychol. Monog., 1942, 54, No. 248, 1-95.

Luchins, A.S. Classroom experiments on mental set. Amer. J. Psychol., 1946, 59, 295-298.

Wetheimer, M. Productive thinking. New York: Harper, 1945.

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Brian MacWhinney