Complex Problem Solving: Principles and Mechanisms

Complex Problem Solving: Principles and Mechanisms

Complex Problem Solving: Principles and Mechanisms

Complex Problem Solving: Principles and Mechanisms

Synopsis

Although complex problem solving has emerged as a field of psychology in its own right, the literature is, for the most part, widely scattered, and often so technical that it is inaccessible to non-experts. This unique book provides a comprehensive, in-depth, and accessible introduction to the field of complex problem solving. Chapter authors -- experts in their selected domains -- deliver systematic, thought-provoking analyses generally written from an information-processing point of view. Areas addressed include politics, electronics, and computers.

Excerpt

Although complex problem solving has emerged as a field of psychology in its own right, it is a field that usually occupies a single chapter in textbooks on thinking, a part of a chapter in textbooks on cognitive psychology, and a part of a part of a chapter in textbooks on introductory psychology. The literature on complex problem solving is far-flung, and is sometimes so technical that it is difficult for nonexperts to plow through. Moreover, many existing references represent a single point of view rather than a general overview of the field, which currently embraces diverse points of view.

Our goal in this book is to present in a single source a comprehensive, in- depth introduction to the field of complex problem solving. The chapters in this book cover much, although certainly not all, of the field. They are organized by areas of the field, and topics within each area. We have asked contributing authors to be comprehensive and catholic with respect to the points of view that have emerged in each area.

The book is divided into four main parts and a concluding part. The four main parts represent different areas of the field of complex problem solving. Consider each in turn.

Part I, Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, contains three chapters, one on each of the topics within this area. In Chapter 1, Reading as Constrained Reasoning, Keith E. Stanovich and Anne E. Cunningham review the literature on reading from the standpoint of reading as a problem-solving activity, and conclude that reading cannot be well understood in terms of simple information-processing models. Rather, it requires for its understanding a more constructive conceptualization based on the notion of reading as a problem-solving process. In Chapter 2, Going Beyond the Problem Given: Problem Solving in Expert and Novice Writers . . .

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