The Process of Solving Complex Problems

Journal of Problem Solving, 4(1), 19-42, 2011

24 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2012

See all articles by Andreas Fischer

Andreas Fischer

Heidelberg University - Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies

Samuel Greiff

Universite du Luxembourg

Joachim Funke

University of Heidelberg - Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies, Department of Psychology

Date Written: July 1, 2012

Abstract

This article is about Complex Problem Solving (CPS), its history in a variety of research domains (e.g., human problem solving, expertise, decision making, and intelligence), and a formal definition and a process theory of CPS applicable to the interdisciplinary field. CPS is portrayed as (a) knowledge acquisition and (b) knowledge application concerning the goal-oriented control of systems that contain many highly interrelated elements (i.e., complex systems). The impact of implicit and explicit knowledge as well as systematic strategy selection on the solution process are discussed, emphasizing the importance of (1) information generation (due to the initial intransparency of the situation), (2) information reduction (due to the overcharging complexity of the problem’s structure), (3) model building (due to the interconnectedness of the variables), (4) dynamic decision making (due to the eigendynamics of the system), and (5) evaluation (due to many, interfering and/or ill-defined goals).

Keywords: Complex Problem Solving, CPS, Operative Intelligence, Dynamic Problem Solving, Dynamic Decision Making, Expertise

Suggested Citation

Fischer, Andreas and Greiff, Samuel and Funke, Joachim, The Process of Solving Complex Problems (July 1, 2012). Journal of Problem Solving, 4(1), 19-42, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2097374

Andreas Fischer (Contact Author)

Heidelberg University - Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies ( email )

Dekanat
Voßstr. 2
Heidelberg, D-69115
Germany

Samuel Greiff

Universite du Luxembourg ( email )

L-1511 Luxembourg
Luxembourg

Joachim Funke

University of Heidelberg - Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies, Department of Psychology ( email )

Hauptstr. 47
Heidelberg, D-69117
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.psychologie.uni-heidelberg.de

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