Cognitive Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences
This chapter examines the first goal: understanding real-world problem solving. It is particularly concerned with issues of representativeness and what has been called ecological validity. In addition, because there is considerable evidence that there are differences across the adult life span in solving problems, as reviewed by Botwinick (1978), Giambra and Arenberg (1980), and Rabbitt (1977), it will be important to ask whether or not age is an important qualifier to the conclusions that are reached. The first section discusses the problems people actually face and reviews the paradigms used in scientific investigations to represent problems, including studies of age differences and changes in problem solving. The second section explores the extent to which the lay and scientific domains overlap and finds that there is little overlap. The final section describes an explanatory study of problems representative of those people report facing in everyday life.
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Hartley, A.A. (1990). The cognitive ecology of problem solving. In L.W. Poon, D.C. Rubin, & G.A. Wilson (Eds.), Everyday cognition in adulthood and late life, (pp. 300-329). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.