The list author says: "Expert problem solving requires a combination of domain-specific skills, domain-specific metacognitive skills, domain-general analytic and creative skills, and rich background knowledge. These books will help you understand what these skills are, how to best acquire them along with the neccessary background, and how to better apply these resources to solving real problems."
"The prerequisite skill for any kind of analysis or for clarifying the objectives of problem solving is figuring out what questions to ask to start the process. This book is one of the very best focusing on this critical initial aspect of problem solving."
"This is a particularly good overview book on the basic tools and techniques for solving real world problems that cross disciplines. It covers basic principles for gathering data, finding appropriate experts, framing questions, presenting information, analysis, evaluating options, and planning solutions. Basic skills but unusually comprehensive coverage."
"Excellent guide to basic tools for problem solving by an ex-CIA analyst. Dusty prose at times, but solid content. The tools are all proven and powerful and the presentation lends itself well to practicing them and remembering them. These are required tools for all serious analysts."
"This is the classic book on information graphics from the work of Tufte and Tukey. It introduces the principles for organizing information visually for problem solving. Tufte is a legitimate master of informational graphis, a technical data artist, and this is his masterpiece. He refers to this book as about "pictures of numbers.""
"This book distills decades of expert experience into an excellent comprehensive perspective on decision-making skills in particular. This is a sequel to the superb book Decision Traps by the same authors and incorporates the important insights from that book. Combines practical proven tools and well-researched theory."
"Edward De Bono has his own unique style: he uses his own terms for things, his techniques are often odd, and he seems contemptuous of much of formal education. But he really knows a lot about how thinking typically gets derailed, and has many ingenious ideas forcing people to think more flexibly."
"More information is only useful if organized in a way that helps you solve problems, otherwise it adds to the difficulty. Wurman offers a lot of practical general advice on how you can focus better in the flood of information available."
"Superb and exceptionally useful analysis of how we struggle to solve problems with complex systems, and where we usually go wrong. Deals extensively with research where people tried to solve complex problems where actions led to unexpected secondary effects. Eye-opening."
"Advanced understanding of how very difficult problems are solved. Persuasively makes the difficult and somewhat controversial case that cognitive psychology can penetrate some of the mysteries of complex problem solving and yield substantial and useful insights into human thinking."
"Good introduction to systematic problem solving in groups. Kepner and Tregoe's idea have been widely used in industry over the years. The course is based on the effective use of a few simple kinds of questions. What is happening? What caused this? Which course should be take? How do we protect our plan?"
"Uncommon wisdom about designing things for humans to actually use, rather than for ideal design criteria. Norman's ideas are useful both for designing things and from the perspective of helping people solve problems better by designing aids that help them focus better on the problem at hand."
"A great text covering the topic in a particularly accessible yet thorough way. Very basic but very useful particularly if you want to improve your problem solving quickly and do a minimum amount of reading initially. A good starter book."
"Good coverage of problem solving that will help you understand better how to make use of strengths and compensate for weaknesses. This is a strategic book for relatively advanced problem solvers, not a how-to book for solving problems."
"Expertise is important to problem solving, but it is also very domain-specific. So learning to navigate the relevant expertise domains because a crucial part of problem solving. This is one of the few books to seriously address the general issue of different kinds of expertise."
"A systematic re-visioning of expertise as a specific kind of learning process and one that applies to groups as well as individuals. Focuses on the way people who eventually become very good at things re-invest their effort in new and more difficult challenges as they master easier ones."
"A one-semester textbook for advanced decision analysis. Notable in that it attempts to present the topic with as little advanced mathematics as possible. Covers the most important topics in decision modellng, influence diagrams, sensitivity analysis, creativity and decision structuring, uncertainty, preferences, and utility."
"This book is a longstanding classic because of its potential to provide a real bridge between mathematics and practical problem solving. The first half demonstrates in relatively non-technical ways how basic mathematical principles can be incorporated into basic education. The second half of the book is an excellent toolbox for thinking mathematically to solve problems in general."
"This introductory book represented a turning point from merely describing patterns of data to actually undestanding them and making decisions from those patterns using an informal approach. Essential background for applying statistical methods, suitable for all levels of problem solvers."
"A unique introduction to applied statistics, explaining the concepts in terms of everyday words rather than jargon and leaving the computation to computers rather than people. Introduces the principles and potential of practical probability management in business. Very useful book for understanding decision making under risk and uncertainty."
"Still the classic work in deceptive use of statistics. Obviously the idea here is for problem solvers will to this to avoid deceiving themselves and others and to detect dece[tion in their source materials."
"A clear discussion of various aspects of good thinking revealing the strengths and weaknesses of each and yielding the useful notion of reflective intelligence as a problem solving tool. Expands on the concept of expertise to produce a useful model of navigational realms rather than domains. Crucial insights on what it takes to learn to think well and become a better problem solver in general."
"What works for studying and learning. We rely on judgments of fluency, which tend to be misleading. Research emphasizes spaced learning and effortful processing, rather than massed practice and efficiency."
"Introduces the research area of naturalistic expertise and the recognition primed decision model. How people really make quick, expert decisions under difficult conditions. Emphasizes pattern recognition and mental simulation."