Cognitive Processing

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 133–142 | Cite as

Complex problem solving: a case for complex cognition?

  • Joachim FunkeEmail author
Research Report


Complex problem solving (CPS) emerged in the last 30 years in Europe as a new part of the psychology of thinking and problem solving. This paper introduces into the field and provides a personal view. Also, related concepts like macrocognition or operative intelligence will be explained in this context. Two examples for the assessment of CPS, Tailorshop and MicroDYN, are presented to illustrate the concept by means of their measurement devices. Also, the relation of complex cognition and emotion in the CPS context is discussed. The question if CPS requires complex cognition is answered with a tentative “yes.”


Complex problem solving Operative intelligence Macrocognition Emotion Complex cognition 



Thanks to Carola Barth, Christine Blech, Sven Brüssow, Samuel Greiff, Daniel Holt and Sabrina Zinke for helpful comments on a draft version. Two anonymous reviewers gave further valuable comments and hints for improvements; the comments of one of them were so useful that they found their way directly into the manuscript. Thanks! Finally, Ann Wolf helped to improve the quality of my English. Part of this research was funded by a grant from the DFG to the author (Az. Fu 173/11-1).


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Copyright information

© Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychologisches InstitutUniversität HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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