- The term problem solving describes the process to overcome barriers between a given and a goal state.
- Complex problems differ from simple problems by the degree of background knowledge needed for the solution process, the sheer number of processes to run, and the time needed for completion.
- In addition, complex problems are characterized by complexity (many variables), connectivity (relations between variables), intransparency (missing information), dynamics (changes over time), and polytely (multiple goals).
- Problem solving as a process occurs in different idealized phases: target elaboration, hypothesis formation, planning and decision making, monitoring, and evaluation.
- Important theories of problem solving come from the Gestaltists, from action theory, and from information processing theories.
- Methods for assessment rely on self-reports, behavioral data, and physiological measures.