Journal of Adult Development

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 9–18

Everyday Problem Solving: Experience, Strategies, and Behavioral Intentions

  • Julie Hicks Patrick
  • JoNell Strough


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.

problem solving decision making relocation strategies 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie Hicks Patrick
    • 1
  • JoNell Strough
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWest Virginia UniversityMorgantown

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