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The Psychology of Problem Solving

407 Pages · 2007 · 3.25 MB · English

  • The Psychology of Problem Solving

    ThePsychologyofProblemSolving


    Problems are a central part of human life. The Psychology of Problem


    Solving organizes in one volume much of what psychologists know


    about problem solving and the factors that contribute to its success


    orfailure.Therearechaptersbyleadingexpertsinthisfield,includ-


    ingMiriamBassok,RandallEngle,AndersEricsson,ArthurGraesser,


    NorbertSchwarz,KeithStanovich,andBarryZimmerman.


    The Psychology of Problem Solving is divided into four parts. Fol-


    lowinganintroductionthatreviewsthenatureofproblemsandthe


    historyandmethodsofthefield,PartIIfocusesonindividualdiffer-


    encesin,andtheinfluenceof,theabilitiesandskillsthathumansbring


    toproblemsituations.PartIIIexaminesmotivationalandemotional


    statesandcognitivestrategiesthatinfluenceproblem-solvingperfor-


    mance,whilePartIVsummarizesandintegratesthevariousviewsof


    problemsolvingproposedintheprecedingchapters.


    Janet E. Davidson is Associate Professor of Psychology at Lewis &


    Clark College. She conducts research on several aspects of problem


    solving,includingtherolesthatinsightandmetacognitiveskillsplay


    inproblemsolving.


    RobertJ.SternbergisIBMProfessorofPsychologyandEducationat


    Yale University and Director of the Yale Center for the Psychology


    of Abilities, Competencies and Expertise (PACE Center). Professor


    Sternberg is Editor of Contemporary Psychology and past Editor of


    PsychologicalBulletin.


    Together,ProfessorsDavidsonandSternberghaveeditedtwoprevi-


    ousbooks,ConceptionsofGiftedness(Cambridge,1986)andTheNature


    ofInsight(1995). The Psychology of Problem Solving


    Editedby


    JANET E. DAVIDSON


    Lewis&ClarkCollege


    ROBERT J. STERNBERG


    YaleUniversity uf763uf761uf76duf762uf772uf769uf764uf767uf765 uf775uf76euf769uf776uf765uf772uf773uf769uf774uf779 uf770uf772uf765uf773uf773


    Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo


    Cambridge University Press


    The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge uf763uf762uf732 uf732uf772uf775, United Kingdom


    Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York


    www.cambridge.org


    Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9780521793339


    © Cambridge University Press 2003


    This book is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provision of


    relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place


    without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.


    First published in print format 2003


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    isbn-13 978-0-511-06314-5 eBook (NetLibrary)


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    isbn-10 0-511-06314-8 eBook (NetLibrary)


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    isbn-13 978-0-521-79333-9 hardback


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    isbn-10 0-521-79333-5 hardback


    iuf769suf773buf762nuf76e--1uf7313uf733 978-0-521-79741-2uf732 paperback


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    isbn-10 0-521-79741-1 paperback


    Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of


    uf775uf772uf76cs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this book, and does not


    guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate. Contents


    Contributors pagevii


    Preface ix


    part i introduction


    1 Recognizing,Defining,andRepresentingProblems 3


    JeanE.Pretz,AdamJ.Naples,andRobertJ.Sternberg


    2 TheAcquisitionofExpertPerformanceasProblem


    Solving:ConstructionandModificationofMediating


    MechanismsthroughDeliberatePractice 31


    K.AndersEricsson


    part ii relevant abilities and skills


    3 IsSuccessorFailureatSolvingComplexProblemsRelated


    toIntellectualAbility? 87


    DoritWenkeandPeterA.Frensch


    4 Creativity:ASourceofDifficultyinProblemSolving 127


    ToddI.LubartandChristopheMouchiroud


    5 InsightsaboutInsightfulProblemSolving 149


    JanetE.Davidson


    6 TheRoleofWorkingMemoryinProblemSolving 176


    DavidZ.HambrickandRandallW.Engle


    7 ComprehensionofTextinProblemSolving 207


    ShannonWhittenandArthurC.Graesser


    part iii states and strategies


    8 MotivatingSelf-RegulatedProblemSolvers 233


    BarryJ.ZimmermanandMagdaCampillo


    v vi Contents


    9 FeelingandThinking:ImplicationsforProblemSolving 263


    NorbertSchwarzandIanSkurnik


    10 TheFundamentalComputationalBiasesofHuman


    Cognition: Heuristics That (Sometimes) Impair Decision


    MakingandProblemSolving 291


    KeithE.Stanovich


    11 AnalogicalTransferinProblemSolving 343


    MiriamBassok


    part iv conclusions and integration


    12 ProblemSolving–Large/Small,Hard/Easy,


    Conscious/Nonconscious,Problem-Space/Problem-Solver:


    TheIssueofDichotomization 373


    KennethKotovsky


    Index 385 Contributors


    MiriamBassok


    UniversityofWashington


    MagdaCampillo


    GraduateSchoolandUniversityCenter,


    CityUniversityofNewYork


    JanetE.Davidson


    Lewis&ClarkCollege


    RandallW.Engle


    GeorgiaInstituteofTechnology


    K.AndersEricsson


    FloridaStateUniversity


    PeterA.Frensch


    Humboldt-UniversityatBerlin


    ArthurC.Graesser


    TheUniversityofMemphis


    DavidZ.Hambrick


    MichiganStateUniversity


    KennethKotovsky


    CarnegieMellonUniversity


    ToddI.Lubart


    Universite´ Rene´ Descartes,Paris


    ChristopheMouchiroud


    Universite´ Rene´ Descartes,Paris


    vii viii Contributors


    AdamJ.Naples


    YaleUniversity


    JeanE.Pretz


    YaleUniversity


    NorbertSchwarz


    UniversityofMichigan


    IanSkurnik


    UniversityofMichigan


    KeithE.Stanovich


    UniversityofToronto


    RobertJ.Sternberg


    YaleUniversity


    DoritWenke


    Humboldt-UniversityatBerlin


    ShannonWhitten


    TheUniversityofMemphis


    BarryJ.Zimmerman


    GraduateSchoolandUniversityCenter,


    CityUniversityofNewYork Preface


    Almost everything in life is a problem. Even when we go on vacations


    toescapeourproblems,wequicklydiscoverthatvacationsmerelybring


    problems that differ in kind or magnitude from the ones of daily living.


    In addition, we often find that the solution to one problem becomes the


    basisofthenextone.Forexample,closingonahousesolvestheproblem


    ofbuyingahouse,butusuallymeanstheinitiationofawholenewsetof


    problemspertainingtohomeownership.


    Becauseproblemsareacentralpartofhumanlife,itisimportanttoun-


    derstandthenatureofproblemsolvingandthesourcesthatcanmakeitdif-


    ficult.Whenpeoplehaveproblems,howdotheyidentify,define,andsolve


    them?Whenandwhydotheysucceedatproblemsolvingandwhenand


    whydotheyfail?Howcanproblem-solvingperformancebeimproved?


    Ourgoalforthisbookistoorganizeinonevolumewhatpsychologists


    knowaboutproblemsolvingandthefactorsthatcontributetoitssuccess


    or failure. To accomplish this goal, we gave each of our contributors the


    followingproblem:“Useyourareaofexpertisetodeterminewhatmakes


    problem solving difficult.” By examining why problem solving is often


    difficultforpeople,wehopetodiscoverhowtomakeiteasierandmore


    productive.However,thebook’sfocusisnotadiscouragingonethatem-


    phasizesonlyfailuresinproblemsolving.Instead,itprovidesabalanced


    viewofwhyproblemsareandarenotsolvedsuccessfully.Therefore,the


    bookisorganizedbyfactorsthataffectproblem-solvingperformance,such


    asintellectualabilities,workingmemory,motivation,andtransferoftrain-


    ing,ratherthanbyareaofendeavor,suchasmathematics,socialscience,


    naturalscience,andhistory.Eachchapterfocusesononeormorefactors


    that are common to the solution of a wide range of problems. However,


    theextenttowhichthesefactorsaffectproblem-solvingperformancecan


    varyfromonetypeofproblemtoanother.


    The book is divided into four parts. Part I comprises the introduction


    to the book and to the field of problem solving. In chapter 1, Jean Pretz,


    ix


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