experience of committing our mental resources to solving a problem can
engaging. The study of how people solve problems is the problem that
me and is the major focus of my research.
of the questions that we try to answer is what determines problem difficulty.
method we use is to collect verbal protocols and time subjects' moves as
solve problems, obtaining detailed information about their solution processes
problem representations. Another approach has subjects solve problems while
a concurrent working memory loading task. One of our findings in this
is that people's limited working memory capacity controls their ability
problems and plan moves. We often test our conclusions be constructing
models of the cognitive processes that we believe subjects use, and
the performance of the models with that of our human subjects solving
of our goals is to understand how people overcome difficulty by mobilizing
and developing competence on a problem. We have observed that people
often very tentative and uncertain when initially working on a problem,
almost "expert" level performance toward the end. We have been investigating
sudden transition to see what knowledge or skill has been acquired that
what subjects learn during problem solving is learned without their being
any awareness of the learning. We are currently trying to investigate how
occurs and what its limitations are.
question that emerges from the above research is what features of
determine the skill transfer between problems. Another area of application
the study of how design problems can be solved. Along with collaborators
I have begun to examine how problem-solving processes can be
by a computer. These represent some of the research issues that have
to emerge from our attempts to understand human problem-solving.