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INFORMATION USE AND TASK SOLUTION EFFICIENCY IN TWO TYPES OF CONCEPT ATTAINMENT TASKS.
NAVAL PERSONNEL RESEARCH ACTIVITY SAN DIEGO CALIF
An experiment was conducted which replicated an earlier study done by Westcott 1961 in which he obtained behaviors which he described as intuitive problem solving. The experimenters were interested in reassessing his tentative finding of certain personality items as correlates of that behavior, in determining the relationships of two newly formulated cognitive measures to that behavior, and in testing the generality of these behavioral measures by relating them to similar measures obtained from a concept attainment task. Briefly, the problem solving task allowed Ss to obtain various amounts of information in order to reach a solution. Eighteen male and 18 female Ss completed an 18-item problem solving task, a three-problem concept attainment task, tests of abilities to evaluate problem solutions and to generate problem solutions, and several personality inventories including those items reported by Westcott. Responses to the problem solving and concept attainment tasks were scored for correctness of solutions and amount of information used to reach solutions. The results support the performance findings of Westcott but fail to support his conclusions of certain personality patterns as correlates of task performance. In contrast, it was suggested that correctness of solution on problem solving may be a function of the ability of Ss to evaluate possible solutions. Author