Problem Analysis and Definition in Act Generation.
OKLAHOMA UNIV NORMAN DECISION PROCESSES LAB
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Three experiments are reported which provide converging evidence suggesting that problem analysis and definition is an important component in generating actions that might solve a problem. Subjects in the first experiment were given two types of cues to help them create solutions to a typical shortage problem. Subjects were able to translate the generic cues into specific implementations as expected, but were relatively unsuccessful at extracting the generic kernels from cues that were in the form of specific implementation and creating variations of these kernels. The second experiment explored the incubation phenomena by having subjects resume generating possible solutions to a problem one week after their initial attempt. It was found that problem reorganization rarely occurred between the first and second sessions, and that most of the ideas generated in the second session were elaborations or variations of first-session ideas. The third experiment examined the effects of explicit training in problem analysis and definition. Subjects who received this training showed an improved ability to generate examples of most of the generic solutions to the problem, and tended to generate more indirect solutions to the problem.