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Gunion, Katherine; Milford, Todd; Stege, Ulrike – Journal of Problem Solving, 2009
Recursion is a programming paradigm as well as a problem solving strategy thought to be very challenging to grasp for university students. This article outlines a pilot study, which expands the age range of students exposed to the concept of recursion in computer science through instruction in a series of interesting and engaging activities. In…
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Programming, Programming Languages, Middle School Students
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Yi, Sheng Kung M.; Steyvers, Mark; Lee, Michael – Journal of Problem Solving, 2009
Bandit problems provide an interesting and widely-used setting for the study of sequential decision-making. In their most basic form, bandit problems require people to choose repeatedly between a small number of alternatives, each of which has an unknown rate of providing reward. We investigate restless bandit problems, where the distributions of…
Descriptors: Performance, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Rewards
Ash, Ivan K.; Cushen, Patrick J.; Wiley, Jennifer – Journal of Problem Solving, 2009
In the present article, we articulate three assumptions underlying theories proposing that restructuring processes play a key role in insightful problem solving: representational difficulty, representational change, and discontinuity in solution processes. We argue that these assumptions need empirical validation to justify the proposition of…
Descriptors: Cognitive Restructuring, Cognitive Processes, Intuition, Problem Solving
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Belenky, Daniel M.; Nokes, Timothy J. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2009
How does the type of learning material impact what is learned? The current research investigates the nature of students' learning of math concepts when using manipulatives (Uttal, Scudder, & DeLoache, 1997). We examined how the type of manipulative (concrete, abstract, none) and problem-solving prompt (metacognitive or problem-focused) affect…
Descriptors: Instructional Materials, Manipulative Materials, Mathematical Concepts, Metacognition
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Pizlo, Zygmunt – Journal of Problem Solving, 2008
This paper presents a bibliography of more than 200 references related to human problem solving, arranged by subject matter. The references were taken from PsycInfo database. Journal papers, book chapters, books and dissertations are included. The topics include human development, education, neuroscience, research in applied settings, as well as…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Bibliographies, Citations (References), Classification
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Stephen, Damian G.; Dixon, James A. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2008
Explaining emergent structure remains a challenge for all areas of cognitive science, and problem solving is no exception. The modern study of insight has drawn attention to the issue of emergent cognitive structure in problem solving research. We propose that the explanation of insight is beyond the scope of conventional approaches to cognitive…
Descriptors: Cognitive Processes, Problem Solving, Cognitive Structures, Scientific Concepts
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Tak, Susanne; Plaisier, Marco; van Rooij, Iris – Journal of Problem Solving, 2008
To explain human performance on the "Traveling Salesperson" problem (TSP), MacGregor, Ormerod, and Chronicle (2000) proposed that humans construct solutions according to the steps described by their convex-hull algorithm. Focusing on tour length as the dependent variable, and using only random or semirandom point sets, the authors…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Models, Mathematics, College Students
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Osman, Magda – Journal of Problem Solving, 2008
Given the privileged status claimed for active learning in a variety of domains (visuomotor learning, causal induction, problem solving, education, skill learning), the present study examines whether action-based learning is a necessary, or a sufficient, means of acquiring the relevant skills needed to perform a task typically described as…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Active Learning, Skill Development, Observational Learning
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Chronicle, Edward P.; MacGregor, James N.; Lee, Michael; Ormerod, Thomas C.; Hughes, Peter – Journal of Problem Solving, 2008
Results on human performance on the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) from different laboratories show high consistency. However, one exception is in the area of individual differences. While one research group has consistently failed to find systematic individual differences across instances of TSPs (Chronicle, MacGregor and Ormerod), another…
Descriptors: Individual Differences, Problem Solving, Performance, Research Problems
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Pizlo, Zygmunt – Journal of Problem Solving, 2007
This paper presents a bibliography of a little more than 100 references related to human problem solving, arranged by subject matter. The references were taken from PsycInfo and Compendex databases. Only journal papers, books and dissertations are included. The topics include human development, education, neuroscience, research in applied…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Bibliographies, Citations (References), Journal Articles
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Lee, Michael D.; Paradowski, Michael J. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2007
We consider group decision-making on an optimal stopping problem, for which large and stable individual differences have previously been established. In the problem, people are presented with a sequence of five random numbers between 0 and 100, one at a time, and are required to choose the maximum of the sequence, without being allowed to return…
Descriptors: Participative Decision Making, Problem Solving, Individual Differences, Comparative Analysis
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Chu, Yun; Dewald, Andrew D.; Chronicle, Edward P. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2007
Three experiments investigated the effects of two hints derived from the Criterion for Satisfactory Progress theory (CSP) and Representational Change Theory (RCT) on the cheap necklace problem (insight problem). In Experiment 1, fewer participants given the CSP hint used an incorrect (maximizing) first move than participants given the RCT hint or…
Descriptors: Theories, Problem Solving, Prompting, College Students
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Brusco, Michael J. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2007
The study of human performance on discrete optimization problems has a considerable history that spans various disciplines. The two most widely studied problems are the Euclidean traveling salesperson problem and the quadratic assignment problem. The purpose of this paper is to outline a program of study for the measurement of human performance on…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Performance, Measurement, Criticism
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MacGregor, James N.; Chronicle, Edward P.; Ormerod, Thomas C. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2006
We compared the performance of three heuristics with that of subjects on variants of a well-known combinatorial optimization task, the Traveling Salesperson Problem (TSP). The present task consisted of finding the shortest path through an array of points from one side of the array to the other. Like the standard TSP, the task is computationally…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Heuristics, Performance Factors, Task Analysis
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Dry, Matthew; Lee, Michael D.; Vickers, Douglas; Hughes, Peter – Journal of Problem Solving, 2006
We investigated the properties of the distribution of human solution times for Traveling Salesperson Problems (TSPs) with increasing numbers of nodes. New experimental data are presented that measure solution times for carefully chosen representative problems with 10, 20, . . . 120 nodes. We compared the solution times predicted by the convex hull…
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Performance, Visual Perception, Time
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