Problem solving (psychology)
Smith, Kip Cognitive Systems Engineering Laboratory, Linköping Institute of Technology, Linköping, Sweden.
Johnson, Paul E. School of Management, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Last reviewed:August 2015
- Approaches to studying problem solving
- Think-aloud protocols
- Observational, ethnographic studies
- Retrospective, naturalistic studies
- General skills
- Attention as a resource and constraint on problem solving
- Garden path problems
- Computer applications
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The mental processes involved in the analysis and solution of problems. Cognitive psychology seeks to understand the integral processes involved in solving problems. Problems represent gaps between where one is and where one wishes to be, or between what one knows and what one wishes to know. Problem solving is the process of closing these gaps by finding missing information, reevaluating what is already known, or, in some cases, redefining the problem.
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