Problem solving difficulty from unrecognized equivalency

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Andrew L. Leroux (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Peter Delaney

Abstract: Equivalency occurs in problem solving when a single state can be represented by multiple configurations. If unrecognized, multiple equivalent states can be perceived as new, unique states. This confusion can hinder problem solving. Three experiments used two river crossing problems to explain changes in difficulty through changes in the external representation. The order in which objects were selected, the appearance of objects, and the spatial location of objects were manipulated to affect the difficulty of recognizing equivalent problem states. Blocking equivalency by fixing the selection order was the most reliable effect, helping participants solve the problems in fewer moves.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
Language: English
Date: 2011
Keywords
Equivalency, Hobbits and orcs, Perception, Problem solving, River crossing
Subjects
Problem solving
Perception
Human information processing
Cognition
Insight