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ERIC Number: ED013982
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1967-May
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
TRIAL AND ERROR VS. "INSIGHTFUL" PROBLEM SOLVING--EFFECTS OF DISTRACTION, ADDITIONAL RESPONSE ALTERNATIVES, AND LONGER RESPONSE CHAINS.
DAVIS, GARY A.; AND OTHERS
TWO SWITCH-LIGHT PROBLEMS WERE USED TO INVESTIGATE THREE VARIABLES THAT INFLUENCE PROBLEM-SOLVING PERFORMANCE--(1) THE NUMBER OF DISTRACTING RESPONSE ALTERNATIVES, (2) THE NUMBER OF AVAILABLE RESPONSE ALTERNATIVES, AND (3) THE NUMBER OF MINIMALLY REQUIRED RESPONSES. IN THE PROBLEMS USED, THE SUBJECT ATTEMPTED TO ACHIEVE A PARTICULAR PATTERN OF LIGHTS IN A MATRIX BY MANIPULATING SWITCHES ON HIS RESPONSE PANEL. IN BOTH EXPERIMENTS THE SUBJECTS WERE DIVIDED INTO TWO GROUPS. SUBJECTS IN GROUP O SOLVED THE PROBLEMS LARGELY BY OVERT TRIAL-AND-ERROR BEHAVIOR. SUBJECTS IN GROUP C WERE TAUGHT WHICH LIGHTS WERE CONTROLLED BY EACH SWITCH AND SOLVED THEIR PROBLEMS MAINLY BY IMPLICIT OR "INSIGHTFUL" BEHAVIOR. EXPERIMENT I USED 48 COLLEGE STUDENTS TO COMPARE THE EFFECTS OF BOTH THE NUMBER OF DISTRACTING SWITCHES AND THE TOTAL NUMBER OF AVAILABLE SWITCHES UPON PERFORMANCE IN THE TRIAL-AND-ERROR VERSUS THE INSIGHTFUL FORMS OF THE SWITCH-LIGHT TASK. EXPERIMENT II USED 32 STUDENTS TO EVALUATE THE EFFECTS OF THE NUMBER OF MINIMALLY REQUIRED SWITCHES UPON PERFORMANCE IN THE OVERT TRIAL-AND-ERROR VERSUS INSIGHTFUL FORMS OF THE PROBLEM-SOLVING TASK. PERFORMANCE BY BOTH GROUPS DETERIORATED WHEN (1) A DISTRACTING SWITCH WAS PRESENT, (2) THE NUMBER OF AVAILABLE SWITCHES WAS INCREASED, AND (3) THE NUMBER OF SWITCHES REQUIRED FOR A SOLUTION WAS INCREASED. THE AUTHOR DISCUSSED SOME GENERALIZATIONS FROM THE RESULTS THAT MAY HAVE IMPLICATIONS FOR CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION. (AL)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Research and Development Center for Cognitive Learning.
Identifiers: N/A