University Relations

Spring 2019 - Thursdays - 12:00 to 1:00 pm - Elliott Hall S204


March 14
"Human Performance on Insight Problem Solving: A Review" by Chu and MacGregor. Lunch will be provided.

Abstract. The article provides a review of recent research on insight problem-solving performance. We discuss what insight problems are, the different types of classic and newer insight problems, and how we can classify them. We also explain some of the other aspects that affect insight performance, such as hints, analogs, training, thinking aloud, and individual differences. In addition, we describe some of the main theoretical explanations that have been offered. Finally, we present some measures of insight and relevant neuroscience contributions to the area over the last decade.


March 7
We will be discussing the article, "Problem solving and learning" by John R. Anderson. Lunch will be provided.

Abstract. A. Newell and H. A. Simon (1972) provided a framework for understanding problem solving that can provide the needed bridge between learning and performance. Their analysis of means-ends problem solving can be viewed as a general characterization of the structure of human cognition. However, this framework needs to be elaborated with a strength concept to account for variability in problem solving behavior and improvement in problem-solving skill with practice. The ACT* theory (J. R. Anderson, 1983) is such an elaborated theory that can account for many of the results about the acquisition of problem-solving skills. Its central concept is the production rule, which plays an analogous role to the stimulus-response bond in earlier learning theories. The theory has provided a basis for constructing intelligent computer-based tutoring systems for the instruction of academic problem-solving skills. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


February 28
We will meet to discuss the article "Human problem solving: The state of the theory in 1970 by Simon and Newell." Lunch will be provided.

Abstract. Summarizes research of the past 15 yr. directed toward discovering and explicating the organization of information processes that underlies human problem solving. The basic characteristics of the human information processing system (IPS) serial processing, small short-term memory, infinite long-term memory with fast retrieval but slow storage impose strong conditions on the ways in which the system can seek solutions to problems in large problem spaces. The current theory is described in 4 broad propositions: (a) a few gross characteristics of the human IPS are invariant over task and problem solver; (b) these characteristics determine that a task environment is represented (in the IPS) as a problem space, and that problem solving takes place in a problem space; (c) the structure of the task environment determines the possible structures of the problem space; and (d) the structure of the problem space determines the possible programs that can be used for problem solving. These propositions and their relation to the known characteristics of the IPS are developed.


February 21
We will meet to discuss the article, "Cognitive? Science?" by Serrano et al. Lunch will be provided.

Abstract. Cognitive Science is a promising field of research that deals with one of the most fundamental questions ever: how do beings know? However, despite the long and extensive tradition of the field it has not yet become an area of knowledge with scientific identity. This is primarily due to three reasons: the lack of boundaries in defining the object of study, i.e. cognition, the lack of a precise, robust and consistent scientific methodology and results, and the inner problems derived from its interdisciplinary nature. This paper presents a background review, a theoretical frame and a humble reflection on these topics in order to arouse the internal debate among readers once more.


February 14
We will again discuss topics for journal articles for the semester.


February 7
Cancelled due to severe weather.


January 31
We will discuss topics and themes of journal articles to be selected for Spring 2019 discussion sessions. Lunch will be provided.

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