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Complex problem solving: The European perspective - 10 years after

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Document pages: 13 pages

Abstract: Complex Problem Solving (CPS) is a term that was introduced about 30 years ago in Germany by Dietrich Dörner. This movement established not only a new type of problem to be studied, a type that differed from “simple” problem solving in terms of complexity, temporal dynamics, and other attributes, but also a new method, namely, the use of computer-simulated microworlds. In this chapter, we focus on some of the issues that have been at the center of attention in the complex problem solving literature during the last years. The chapter is divided into four parts. In the first part, we briefly re-describe the historic roots of modern research on complex problem solving and establish a working definition of the concept. In part two, we discuss one specific issue that has been of interest in the complex problem solving community lately, namely, the question to what extent, if at all, complex problem solving performance might be related to intelligence. We discuss some of the older, and much of the most recent, research that has been concerned with exploring the link between intelligence and complex problem solving. In doing so, we differentiate between explicit and implicit complex problem solving. In the third part, we focus on the question to what extent, if at all, complex problem solving can be empirically distinguished from “simple” problem solving, and if there are domain specific or domain general principles at work. In the final part of the chapter, we present and discuss ten myths about complex problem solving that we believe very much hampers scientific progress in the area at the present time.

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