Preliminary Investigation of Real-World Problem Solving with and without Computers

Volume II: Complete Results

by Harold Sackman

Download

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 4.3 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback105 pages $25.00 $20.00 20% Web Discount

Part of an NSF research project on "Studies in the Psychology of Man-Computer Problem Solving," this pilot investigation compared problem solving with and without computers, investigated real-world problem solving, and tested the effectiveness of a proposed nine-stage model of real-world problem solving stemming from systems and planning theory. The pilot subjects were 8 RAND professionals and 11 UCLA graduate students, contributing a total of 37 problems. Each subject served as his own control by reporting a computer and a non-computer problem essential for his job or position. Data from a self-administered questionnaire were subjected to extensive statistical analyses. Computer-aided and non-computer problem solving were shown to have fundamentally similar stages and dynamics, and a provisional push-pull theory of insight was suggested. Computer assistance was virtually nonexistent in early problem-finding and problem-planning stages, and appeared most frequently in later solution-testing stages. Overdependence on available software led to procrustean problem solving and inhibition of creativity. Application of computers to real-world problems apparently leads to more favorable attitudes toward computers. Pilot response to the nine-stage model of problem solving was favorable.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.