THINKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING
Peter A. Frensch
Department of Psychology, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
Department of Psychology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
Human thinking,and in particular,the human ability to solve complex,real-life problems contributes more than any other human ability to the development of human culture and the growth and development of human life on earth.However,the human ability to solve complex problems is still not well understood,partly because it has for a long time been largely ignored by traditional problem-solving research in the field of psychology.
In this article,we present a definition of complex problem solving and describe a theoretical
framework that accommodates the theoretical and empirical strides that have been made in
understanding complex problem solving thus far and may serve as a guide for future research.
We discuss the dominant methodological approaches that have been employed to study complex
problem solving, and offer our own recommendations on which of the various approaches
might be the most promising.