Complex Problem Solving: The European Perspective by Peter A. Frensch, Joachim Funke

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By Peter A. Frensch, Joachim Funke

This quantity offers a state-of-the-science evaluate of the main promising present eu learn -- and its ancient roots of study -- on complicated challenge fixing (CPS) in Europe. it's an try and shut the data hole between American students concerning the eu method of figuring out CPS. even if many of the American researchers are good conscious of the truth that CPS has been a really lively examine zone in Europe for rather a while, they don't know any specifics approximately even an important study. a part of the cause of this lack of awareness is surely the truth that eu researchers -- for the main half -- were really reluctant to put up their paintings in English-language journals.

The ebook concentrates on eu learn as the simple technique ecu students have taken to learning CPS is especially diversified from one taken through North American researchers. usually, American students were learning CPS in "natural" domain names -- physics, examining, writing, and chess enjoying -- concentrating totally on exploring novice-expert changes and the purchase of a fancy ability. eu students, by contrast, were basically all in favour of challenge fixing habit in artificially generated, usually automatic, advanced platforms. whereas the yank technique has the benefit of excessive exterior validity, the ecu strategy has the benefit of procedure variables that may be systematically manipulated to bare the results of process parameters on CPS habit. the 2 methods are hence top seen as complementing one another.

This quantity comprises contributions from 4 eu international locations -- Sweden, Switzerland, nice Britain, and Germany. As such, it properly represents the majority of empirical study on CPS which has been performed in Europe. a world cooperation begun years in the past with the aim of bringing the eu examine on advanced challenge fixing to the notice of yank students. an immediate results of that attempt, the contributions to this booklet are either informative and comprehensive.

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Whenever a given state cannot be converted into the desired state directly through the activation of obvious operations, thinking is needed to construct mediating actions. (Duncker, 1935, p. 1; translated by the authors) • A question for which there is at the moment no answer is a problem. (Skinner, 1966, p. 225) • A problem is a stimulus situation for which an organism does not have a ready response. (Davis, 1973, p. ” (Woods, Crow, Hoffman, & Wright, 1985, p. 1) • A person is confronted with a problem when he wants something and does not know immediately what series of actions he can perform to get it.

The reason for the apparent emphasis in European research on task specifics, rather than on the task-solver interaction, is perhaps best understood historically. Therefore, a brief excursion into the recent history of problem-solving research is in order. , Mayer, 1992). Simple novel tasks were used for various reasons: They had clearly defined optimal solutions, they were solvable within a relatively short time frame, subjects’ problem-solving steps could be traced, and so on. The underlying assumption was, of course, that simple tasks, such as the Tower of Hanoi, captured the main properties of real problems, and that the cognitive processes underlying subjects’ solution attempts on simple problems were representative of the processes engaged in when solving “real” problems.

For instance, much of what we know about the performance of novices on exercises and most of what we know about expertise would not accurately be included in problem-solving theory because most of the work to date has compared the performance of novices and experts on the solution of tasks that can only be considered exercises for the experts. To summarize, definitions of problem solving and problem, both explicit and implicit, differ widely. Some definitions focus on the interaction between task characteristics and observable behavior, other definitions focus on the interaction between task characteristics and nonobservable cognitions, whereas still other definitions focus on task characteristics alone.

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