The Effects of Informational Complexity and Working Memory on Problem-Solving Efficiency
This study investigated the influence of informational complexity and working memory capacity oil problem-solving efficiency, We examined two predictions of the situational efficiency hypothesis, which states efficiency of problem solving varies as a function of situational constraints. One prediction is that informational complexity affects problem-solving efficiency. A second prediction is that working memory capacity affects problem-solving efficiency. Students completed a working memory task and solved abstract and concrete syllogisms. Participants solved abstract syllogisms more accurately than concrete syllogisms and spent more time solving abstract syllogisms. Thus participants demonstrated greater problem-solving efficiency when solving concrete syllogisms. Results indicate that there is a trade-off between problem-solving accuracy and problem-solving time when information differs with respect to informational complexity, a phenomenon we refer to as the efficiency paradox. Working memory capacity did not affect accuracy or efficiency. The results support the conclusion that problem-solving efficiency is situational and a function of the complexity of information. Educational implications and directions for future research are suggested.
Asia Pacific Education Review
"The Effects of Informational Complexity and Working Memory on Problem-Solving Efficiency" (2008). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 450.