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Carruthers, Sarah; Stege, Ulrike; Masson, Michael E. J. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2018

The role that the mental, or internal, representation plays when people are solving hard computational problems has largely been overlooked to date, despite the reality that this internal representation drives problem solving. In this work we investigate how performance on versions of two hard computational problems differs based on what internal…

Descriptors: Problem Solving, Goal Orientation, Computation, Difficulty Level

Fleischer, Pierson; Hélie, Sébastien; Pizlo, Zygmunt – Journal of Problem Solving, 2018

Gestalt psychologists pointed out about 100 years ago that a key to solving difficult insight problems is to change the mental representation of the problem, as is the case, for example, with solving the six matches problem in 2D vs. 3D space. In this study we ask a different question, namely what representation is used when subjects solve search,…

Descriptors: Problem Solving, Mathematics, Geometric Concepts, Mathematical Applications

Blokpoel, Mark; Wareham, Todd; Haselager, Pim; Toni, Ivan; van Rooij, Iris – Journal of Problem Solving, 2018

The ability to generate novel hypotheses is an important problem-solving capacity of humans. This ability is vital for making sense of the complex and unfamiliar world we live in. Often, this capacity is characterized as an inference to the best explanation--selecting the "best" explanation from a given set of candidate hypotheses.…

Descriptors: Hypothesis Testing, Logical Thinking, Inferences, Computation

Wareham, Todd – Journal of Problem Solving, 2017

In human problem solving, there is a wide variation between individuals in problem solution time and success rate, regardless of whether or not this problem solving involves insight. In this paper, we apply computational and parameterized analysis to a plausible formalization of extended representation change theory (eRCT), an integration of…

Descriptors: Problem Solving, Schemata (Cognition), Intuition, Computation

MacGregor, James N. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2017

The article reports three experiments designed to explore heuristics used in comparing the lengths of completed Euclidean Traveling Salesman Problem (E-TSP) tours. The experiments used paired comparisons in which participants judged which of two completed tours of the same point set was shorter. The first experiment manipulated two factors, the…

Descriptors: College Students, Heuristics, Problem Solving, Mathematical Applications

Levitin, Anany – Journal of Problem Solving, 2017

The paper concerns an important but underappreciated genre of algorithmic puzzles, explaining what these puzzles are, reviewing milestones in their long history, and giving two different ways to classify them. Also covered are major applications of algorithmic puzzles in cognitive science research, with an emphasis on insight problem solving, and…

Descriptors: Problem Solving, Puzzles, Mathematics, Cognitive Science

Hattikudur, Shanta; Sidney, Pooja G.; Alibali, Martha W. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2016

Students benefit from learning multiple procedures for solving the same or related problems. However, past research on comparison instruction has focused on comparing multiple formal procedures. This study investigated whether the benefits of comparing procedures extend to comparisons that involve informal and formal procedures. We also examined…

Descriptors: Mathematics Education, Problem Solving, Student Attitudes, Mathematics Skills

Mielicki, Marta K.; Wiley, Jennifer – Journal of Problem Solving, 2016

Successful algebraic problem solving entails adaptability of solution methods using different representations. Prior research has suggested that students are more likely to prefer symbolic solution methods (equations) over graphical ones, even when graphical methods should be more efficient. However, this research has not tested how representation…

Descriptors: Algebra, Problem Solving, Graphs, Equations (Mathematics)

Chan, Joel; Nokes-Malach, Timothy J. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2016

People often use spatial metaphors (e.g., think "laterally," "outside the box") to describe exploration of the problem space during creative problem solving. In this paper, we probe the potential cognitive underpinnings of these spatial metaphors. Drawing on theories of situative cognition, semantic foraging theory, and…

Descriptors: Creativity, Physical Environment, Novelty (Stimulus Dimension), Creative Thinking

Danek, Amory H.; Wiley, Jennifer; Öllinger, Michael – Journal of Problem Solving, 2016

Insightful problem solving is a vital part of human thinking, yet very difficult to grasp. Traditionally, insight has been investigated by using a set of established "insight tasks," assuming that insight has taken place if these problems are solved. Instead of assuming that insight takes place during every solution of the 9 Dot, 8 Coin,…

Descriptors: Problem Solving, Arithmetic, Intuition, Hypothesis Testing

Kizilirmak, Jasmin M.; Wiegmann, Berit; Richardson-Klavehn, Alan – Journal of Problem Solving, 2016

Recent evidence suggests that solving problems through insight can enhance long-term memory for the problem and its solution. Previous findings have shown that generation of the solution as well as experiencing a feeling of Aha! can have a beneficial relationship to later memory. These findings lead to the question of how learning in…

Descriptors: Problem Solving, Long Term Memory, Cognitive Processes, Novelty (Stimulus Dimension)

Goel, Vinod; Eimontaite, Iveta; Goel, Amit; Schindler, Igor – Journal of Problem Solving, 2015

While both insight and divergent thinking tasks are used to study creativity, there are reasons to believe that the two may call upon very different mechanisms. To explore this hypothesis, we administered a verbal insight task (riddles) and a divergent thinking task (verbal fluency) to 16 native English speakers and 16 non-native English speakers…

Descriptors: Stimulation, Creativity, Intuition, Creative Thinking

Shirahama, Kimiaki; Grzegorzek, Marcin; Indurkhya, Bipin – Journal of Problem Solving, 2015

"Large-Scale Multimedia Retrieval" (LSMR) is the task to fast analyze a large amount of multimedia data like images or videos and accurately find the ones relevant to a certain semantic meaning. Although LSMR has been investigated for more than two decades in the fields of multimedia processing and computer vision, a more…

Descriptors: Information Retrieval, Multimedia Materials, Man Machine Systems, Cooperation

Tenbrink, Thora; Taylor, Holly A. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2015

Research on problem solving typically does not address tasks that involve following detailed and/or illustrated step-by-step instructions. Such tasks are not seen as cognitively challenging problems to be solved. In this paper, we challenge this assumption by analyzing verbal protocols collected during an Origami folding task. Participants…

Descriptors: Cognitive Processes, Problem Solving, Protocol Analysis, Task Analysis

Mueller, Shane T.; Perelman, Brandon S.; Tan, Yin Yin; Thanasuan, Kejkaew – Journal of Problem Solving, 2015

The traveling salesman problem (TSP) is a combinatorial optimization problem that requires finding the shortest path through a set of points ("cities") that returns to the starting point. Because humans provide heuristic near-optimal solutions to Euclidean versions of the problem, it has sometimes been used to investigate human visual…

Descriptors: Sales Occupations, Salesmanship, Computer System Design, Computer Software Reviews