Stages of Problem Solving with and without Computers.

by Harold Sackman


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Describes empirical testing of a proposed nine-stage model on the psychology of man-computer problem solving derived from systems and planning theory. The testing vehicle was a self-administered questionnaire containing approximately 400 items, given to 43 professionals from diverse research disciplines. Each subject served as his own control by reporting his job experience with a computer-related and a non-computer problem. Real-world occupational problems were basically defined as essential for the individual's job or position, perceived as major projects, and requiring some originality in approach and execution. The model includes these steps: (1) emergence of problem, (2) competing problem approaches, (3) proposed problem plan, (4) consensus and commitment, (5) development of problem methods, (6) solution testing, (7) consolidation and refinement, (8) communication of results, and (9) feedback and evaluation. The nine-stage model is reliably preferable over two, four and seven-stage models, and shows promise for further applied and theoretical research. 115 pp. Ref.

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