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The Psychology of Problem Solving [Paperback]

by Janet E. Davidson, Robert J. Sternberg PhD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 9, 2003 0521797411 978-0521797412
Unlike typical books on problem solving that are organized by content areas, such as mathematics and natural science, this book is organized by factors that affect problem solving performance, such as motivation, emotion, intellectual abilities, and working memory. Its goal is to organize in one volume all that is known about problem solving and the factors that contribute to its success or failure.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[P]rovides a contemporary summary of the psychological aspects of problem solving, including such topics as problem recognition, transfer, working memory, and other topics..." American Journal of Physics

"The richness of the discussion throughout the various chapters, and the sheer quantity of information used to illustrate each point of view are impressive...an excellent look at both the history of problem solving research and the current state of the field...extremely valuable..." William Altman, Broome Community College, Teachers College Record

"A good book on any subject should summarize the current state of knowledge, and point to the important areas where further work is needed, and this book does both. Overall, this is a very stimulating collection, which all researchers in problem solving will wish to consult." Trends in Cognitive Sciences

Book Description

Problems are a central part of human life. The goal of The Psychology of Problem Solving is to organize in one volume what is known about problem solving and the factors that contribute to its success or failure. Unlike typical books on problem solving that are organized by content areas, such as mathematics and natural science, this book is organized by factors that affect problem solving performance, such as motivation, emotion, intellectual abilities, and working memory. The book constitutes the most thorough and up-to-date examination of problem solving currently available.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (June 9, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521797411
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521797412
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 4.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,206,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting technical treatise May 17, 2011
Format:Paperback
Interesting observations of how people typically recognize, organize and work through various problems. It is arranged in three parts and a conclusion: introduction, relevant abilities and skills, and states and strategies. A variety of authors contributed to the work and included many endnotes and citations.

The ten or so contributors pen a variety of topics including some that are quite relevant to individual performance such as the impact of practice on problem solving ability, and the risk of fixating on a single routine approach. Particularly liked the short piece on memory and how intractable problems may be marked unsolved and held in memory while the subconscious continues to search for relevant data. Perhaps that leads to the "Aha!" moment.

Several references to the causal relationship between practice and performance level. A contributer notes, it takes about ten years [or 10,000 hours] of practice to become an expert." Supports the premise of "Outliers: The Story of Success", by Malcolm Gladwell, another volume of enlightening observations which, although not a scholarly work, I strongly recommend.

Enjoy-ability index is mixed. Some contributors manage to make reams of data and research protocols interesting. Others don't even try. Easy to visualize a guy with a four-digit I.Q. and two pocket protectors writing this while sitting in a room full of Star Trek memorabilia.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult book August 13, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The font is a little bit small and hard to read. The content of the book is so abstract that I felt struggle to understand it.
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9 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars State of Problem Solving January 5, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've got two PhD students using this text. It's been a treasure for use.
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