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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
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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
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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)
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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
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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
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Van Stockum, Charles A., Jr.; DeCaro, Marci S. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2014
Individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) increase the ability and tendency to devote greater attentional control to a task--improving performance on a wide range of skills. In addition, recent research on enclothed cognition demonstrates that the situational influence of wearing a white lab coat increases controlled attention, due…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Short Term Memory, Attention Control, Intuition
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Dry, Matthew J.; Fontaine, Elizabeth L. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2014
The Traveling Salesperson Problem (TSP) is a computationally difficult combinatorial optimization problem. In spite of its relative difficulty, human solvers are able to generate close-to-optimal solutions in a close-to-linear time frame, and it has been suggested that this is due to the visual system's inherent sensitivity to certain geometric…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Geographic Location, Computation, Visual Stimuli
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Carruthers, Sarah; Stege, Ulrike – Journal of Problem Solving, 2013
This article is concerned with how computer science, and more exactly computational complexity theory, can inform cognitive science. In particular, we suggest factors to be taken into account when investigating how people deal with computational hardness. This discussion will address the two upper levels of Marr's Level Theory: the computational…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Computation, Difficulty Level, Computer Science
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Jäkel, Frank; Schreiber, Cornell – Journal of Problem Solving, 2013
Problem solving research has encountered an impasse. Since the seminal work of Newell und Simon (1972) researchers do not seem to have made much theoretical progress (Batchelder and Alexander, 2012; Ohlsson, 2012). In this paper we argue that one factor that is holding back the field is the widespread rejection of introspection among cognitive…
Descriptors: Reflection, Problem Solving, Metacognition, Protocol Analysis
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Batchelder, William H.; Alexander, Gregory E. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2012
This paper provides a critical examination of the current state and future possibility of formal cognitive theory for insight problem solving and its associated "aha!" experience. Insight problems are contrasted with move problems, which have been formally defined and studied extensively by cognitive psychologists since the pioneering…
Descriptors: Intuition, Problem Solving, Cognitive Processes, Theories
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Ohlsson, Stellan – Journal of Problem Solving, 2012
The research paradigm invented by Allen Newell and Herbert A. Simon in the late 1950s dominated the study of problem solving for more than three decades. But in the early 1990s, problem solving ceased to drive research on complex cognition. As part of this decline, Newell and Simon's most innovative research practices--especially their method for…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Heuristics, Search Strategies, Cognitive Processes
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Haarmann, Henk J.; George, Timothy; Smaliy, Alexei; Dien, Joseph – Journal of Problem Solving, 2012
Previous studies found that performance on the remote associates test (RAT) improves after a period of incubation and that increased alpha brain waves over the right posterior brain predict the emergence of RAT insight solutions. We report an experiment that tested whether increased alpha brain waves during incubation improve RAT performance.…
Descriptors: Brain Hemisphere Functions, Problem Solving, Cognitive Processes, Neurology
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Cranford, Edward A.; Moss, Jarrod – Journal of Problem Solving, 2012
Compound Remote Associate (CRA) problems have been used to investigate insight problem solving using both behavioral and neuroimaging techniques. However, it is unclear to what extent CRA problems exhibit characteristics of insight such as impasses and restructuring. CRA problem-solving characteristics were examined in a study in which…
Descriptors: Intuition, Protocol Analysis, Problem Solving, Cognitive Restructuring
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Wareham, Todd; Evans, Patricia; van Rooij, Iris – Journal of Problem Solving, 2011
Solving new problems can be made easier if one can build on experiences with other problems one has already successfully solved. The ability to exploit earlier problem-solving experiences in solving new problems seems to require several cognitive sub-abilities. Minimally, one needs to be able to retrieve relevant knowledge of earlier solved…
Descriptors: Logical Thinking, Problem Solving, Difficulty Level, Computation
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MacGregor, James N.; Chu, Yun – Journal of Problem Solving, 2011
The article provides a review of recent research on human performance on the traveling salesman problem (TSP) and related combinatorial optimization problems. We discuss what combinatorial optimization problems are, why they are important, and why they may be of interest to cognitive scientists. We next describe the main characteristics of human…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Mathematical Applications, Graphs, Performance
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