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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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Haxhimusa, Yll; Carpenter, Edward; Catrambone, Joseph; Foldes, David; Stefanov, Emil; Arns, Laura; Pizlo, Zygmunt – Journal of Problem Solving, 2011
When a two-dimensional (2D) traveling salesman problem (TSP) is presented on a computer screen, human subjects can produce near-optimal tours in linear time. In this study we tested human performance on a real and virtual floor, as well as in a three-dimensional (3D) virtual space. Human performance on the real floor is as good as that on a…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Mathematical Applications, Graphs, Visual Aids
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Chu, Yun; MacGregor, James N. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2011
The article provides a review of recent research on insight problem-solving performance. We discuss what insight problems are, the different types of classic and newer insight problems, and how we can classify them. We also explain some of the other aspects that affect insight performance, such as hints, analogs, training, thinking aloud, and…
Descriptors: Performance, Intuition, Problem Solving, Literature Reviews
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Hemmati, Mehdi; Smith, J. Cole – Journal of Problem Solving, 2011
We consider a version of an optimal stopping problem, in which a customer is presented with a finite set of items, one by one. The customer is aware of the number of items in the finite set and the minimum and maximum possible value of each item, and must purchase exactly one item. When an item is presented to the customer, she or he observes its…
Descriptors: Consumer Economics, Problem Solving, Decision Making, Purchasing
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Goldenberg, Olga; Wiley, Jennifer – Journal of Problem Solving, 2011
Divergent thinking tasks are a popular basis for research on group creative problem solving, or brainstorming. The brainstorming literature has been dominated by research that investigates group performance by measuring the total number of generated ideas using the original rules put forth by Osborn (1953). This review of empirical literature on…
Descriptors: Conflict, Brainstorming, Criticism, Problem Solving
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Taatgen, Niels A. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2011
The minimal control principle (Taatgen, 2007) predicts that people strive for problem-solving strategies that require as few internal control states as possible. In an experiment with the Abstract Decision Making task (ADM task; Joslyn & Hunt, 1998) the reward structure was manipulated to make either a low-control strategy or a high-strategy…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Abstract Reasoning, Decision Making, Learning Strategies
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Chu, Yun; Li, Zheng; Su, Yong; Pizlo, Zygmunt – Journal of Problem Solving, 2010
Isomorphs of a puzzle called m+m resulted in faster solution times and an easily reproduced solution path in a labeled version of the problem compared to a more difficult binary version. We conjecture that performance is related to a type of heuristic called direction that not only constrains search space in the labeled version, but also…
Descriptors: Heuristics, Problem Solving, Puzzles, Navigation
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Robinson, A. Emanuel; Sloman, Steven A.; Hagmayer, York; Hertzog, Christopher K. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2010
The role of causal beliefs in people's decisions when faced with economic problems was investigated. Two experiments are reported that vary the causal structure in prisoner's dilemma-like economic situations. We measured willingness to cooperate or defect and collected justifications and think-aloud protocols to examine the strategies that people…
Descriptors: Causal Models, Beliefs, Problem Solving, Economics
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Newman, Sharlene D.; Pruce, Benjamin; Rusia, Akash; Burns, Thomas, Jr. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2010
fMRI was used to examine the differential effect of two problem-solving strategies. Participants were trained to use both a pictorial/spatial and a symbolic/algebraic strategy to solve word problems. While these two strategies activated similar cortical regions, a number of differences were noted in the level of activation. These differences…
Descriptors: Learning Strategies, Problem Solving, Diagnostic Tests, Brain Hemisphere Functions
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Walwyn, Amy L.; Navarro, Daniel J. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2010
An experiment is reported comparing human performance on two kinds of visually presented traveling salesperson problems (TSPs), those reliant on Euclidean geometry and those reliant on city block geometry. Across multiple array sizes, human performance was near-optimal in both geometries, but was slightly better in the Euclidean format. Even so,…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Mathematical Applications, Graphs, Geometry
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Son, Ji Y.; Doumas, Leonidas A. A.; Goldstone, Robert L. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2010
The purpose of this paper is to explore how and when verbal labels facilitate relational reasoning and transfer. We review the research and theory behind two ways words might direct attention to relational information: (1) words generically invite people to compare and thus highlight relations (the Generic Tokens [GT] hypothesis), and/or (2) words…
Descriptors: Logical Thinking, Relationship, Vocabulary, Transfer of Training
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MacGregor, James N.; Cunningham, John B. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2009
Insight problem solving is characterized by restructuring. We hypothesized that the difficulty of rebus puzzles could be manipulated by systematically varying the restructurings required to solve them. An experiment using rebus puzzles varied the number of restructurings (one or two) required to solve a problem and the level at which the…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Numbers, Difficulty Level, Puzzles
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Goldstone, Robert L.; Pizlo, Zygmunt – Journal of Problem Solving, 2009
In November 2008 at Purdue University, the 2nd Workshop on Human Problem Solving was held. This workshop, which was a natural continuation of the first workshop devoted almost exclusively to optimization problems, addressed a wider range of topics that reflect the scope of the "Journal of Problem Solving." The workshop was attended by 35…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Universities, Workshops, Educational Researchers
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Buehner, Marc J.; May, Jon – Journal of Problem Solving, 2009
Contemporary theories of Human Causal Induction assume that causal knowledge is inferred from observable contingencies. While this assumption is well supported by empirical results, it fails to consider an important problem-solving aspect of causal induction in real time: In the absence of well structured learning trials, it is not clear whether…
Descriptors: Attribution Theory, Problem Solving, Logical Thinking, Time
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