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Complex Problem Solving

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Dealing with uncertainty; Dynamic decision making; Problem solving in dynamic microworlds


Complex problem solving takes place for reducing the barrier between a given start state and an intended goal state with the help of cognitive activities and behavior. Start state, intended goal state, and barriers prove complexity, change dynamically over time, and can be partially intransparent. In contrast to solving simple problems, with complex problems at the beginning of a problem solution the exact features of the start state, of the intended goal state, and of the barriers are unknown. Complex problem solving expects the efficient interaction between the problem-solving person and situational conditions that depend on the task. It demands the use of cognitive, emotional, and social resources as well as knowledge (see Frensch and Funke 1995).

Theoretical Background

Since 1975 there has been started a new movement in the psychology of thinking that is engaged in complex...

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Correspondence to Joachim Funke .

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© 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

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Funke, J. (2012). Complex Problem Solving. In: Seel, N.M. (eds) Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. Springer, Boston, MA.

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