Everyday Problem Solving: Experience, Strategies, and Behavioral Intentions
- Cite this article as:
- Patrick, J.H. & Strough, J. Journal of Adult Development (2004) 11: 9. doi:10.1023/B:JADE.0000012523.31728.f7
Experience and strategic flexibility predict performance on solving hypothetical everyday problems, although their relation to real-world behavior is largely unknown (e.g., M. Diehl, S. L. Willis, & K. W. Schaie, 1995). Moreover, few studies have examined highly salient, rare-event problems such as relocation decisions. This study tested whether experience and strategic flexibility, in addition to demographic variables, were related to intentions to relocate. Ninety-five adults (M age = 72.1 years) completed problem-solving vignettes, provided information regarding previous experience with problems related to living arrangements, and stated personal relocation intentions. Logistic regression analyses showed that both experience (Odds Ratio (OR) = 40.6) and the number of strategies generated (OR= 3.0) were significantly associated with an increased likelihood of considering a late-life relocation. The benefits of linking lab-based assessments of everyday problem solving to real-world behavior are discussed.