Forschung > Research on Complex Problem Solving (Komplexes Problemlösen)
Research on Complex Problem Solving (Komplexes Problemlösen)
Since about 1975, problem solving research in Germany has shifted its attention from simple to complex problems due to ideas developed by Dietrich Dörner (now at Bamberg University). Complex problems are presented to human subjects as computersimulated scenarios which they have to explore and control. Complex problem are called "complex" due to their system attributes like complexity, connectivity, intransparency, dynamics, and polytely.
During the discussion about research strategies for analyzing Complex Problem Solving, two different schools or traditions emerged. Following Buchner (1995), the first tradition (Bamberg School; Dietrich Dörner, Harald Schaub, Stefan Strohschneider) is interested in differential effects of variables like intelligence or self-esteem. The second tradition (Heidelberg school; Carola Barth, Christine Blech, Sven Brüssow, Joachim Funke, Samuel Greiff, Daniel Holt) makes a focus on system attributes, asking for the effects of degree of time delay, number of side effects, and so on. The last mentioned approach has a offered a list of research principles.
Our current research is twofold: on the one side we are interested in the development of better measurement devices, on the other side we want to understand the regulation and self-regulation processes during problem solving: the impact of emotion on cognition, for example, how affective states influence planning processes and problem solving strategies, or how metacognition can be improved to come to better problem solving results.
We have developed the concept of minimal complex systems, for systems based on linear structural equations (the MicroDYN Approach) as well as for systems based on finite state automata (the MicroFIN approach). This conceptual frame is not favoring a singular microworld, but looking for a large class of scalable problems with high psychometric qualities.
With the computersimulated microworld Tailorshop, we have implemented a new Flash version which can easily be translated into different langiuages. In cooperation with the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing, http://mathopt.uni-hd.de/, we developed new scoring procedures for the classic nonlinear optimization task which make the old scenario Tailorshop to a highly relevant and psychometric interesting tool for complex problem research.
Also, our developments around tasks like Plan-a-Day or Rushhour contribute to basic research in the area of thinking and problem solving.
More information about Complex Problem Solving
Current Research at Heidelberg
Problem-Solving Competencies: Research by Samuel Greiff and me on test development (MicroDYN and MicroFIN approach)
BMBF Complex Problem solving: Research by Sven Brüssow, Daniel Holt and me on the development of a test for planning (Plan-A-Day)
DRK Hotline Training: Research by Lutz Lyding on catastrophe management
Graduiertenkolleg Goals and Preferences (2007-2010): Research by Carola Barth and me on Emotion & Cognition
Research by Christine Blech and me on polytelic situations (i.e., situations with many goals, some of them may be conflicting)
Marsilius-Project Geo-Engineering: Interdisciplinary research by Dorothee Amelung on climate engineering
Software Tools and Scenarios
All our own tools are free of charge for research purposes. We have no capacity to adjust our software to specific purposes from outside.
Commercial Applications (outside of universities)