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Complex Problem Solving after Unstructured Discussion: Effects of Information Distribution and Experience


Meyer, Bertolt; Scholl, W (2009). Complex Problem Solving after Unstructured Discussion: Effects of Information Distribution and Experience. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 12(4):495-515.

Abstract

This study analyzes the effect of information overlap in groups discussing a complex problem on individual post-discussion complex problem solving (CPS). We hypothesize that information distribution among group members has an inverse u-shaped effect on individual post-discussion performance, favoring groups with a medium informational heterogeneity. As CPS is presumably correlated with experience, we also assume that exposure to the problem before the actual task leads to higher performance than less or no exposure. Experimental results support the first hypothesis: A medium overlap of instructional text paragraphs in dyads led to higher performance in a computer-simulated complex problem than complete or no overlap. The second hypothesis is not supported. Limitations of the study and practical implications are discussed.

Abstract

This study analyzes the effect of information overlap in groups discussing a complex problem on individual post-discussion complex problem solving (CPS). We hypothesize that information distribution among group members has an inverse u-shaped effect on individual post-discussion performance, favoring groups with a medium informational heterogeneity. As CPS is presumably correlated with experience, we also assume that exposure to the problem before the actual task leads to higher performance than less or no exposure. Experimental results support the first hypothesis: A medium overlap of instructional text paragraphs in dyads led to higher performance in a computer-simulated complex problem than complete or no overlap. The second hypothesis is not supported. Limitations of the study and practical implications are discussed.

Citations

9 citations in Web of Science®
15 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:July 2009
Deposited On:03 Mar 2010 16:37
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:59
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:1368-4302
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430209105045

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