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An Empirical Test of a General Theory of Problem-Solving

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Date Issued:
2017
Summary:
The purpose of this research is to better understand how marketers and consumers solve problems. This research first reviews the problem-solving literature, discusses several areas of confusion related to problem-solving, and offers solutions. After resolving the confusion, this research then develops a theoretical model of problemsolving. Four hypotheses are derived from the model, and then empirically tested. The model states that the distinct cognitive domain of problem-solving begins with problem recognition. Given a problem, associative memory and associative activation provide a solution (H #1). This solution is either satisfactory or unsatisfactory. If satisfactory, the individual engages in the satisficing process and accepts the solution (H#2). If unsatisfactory, the individual engages in the decision-making process and searches for information related to an alternative solution (H #3). Thus, the difference between satisficing and decision-making is the search for information (H #4). Problemsolving ends when an intended solution is chosen. A pretest and two studies are conducted to test the four hypotheses. The Pretest demonstrated situations that elicited problem recognition. Study 1 tested hypothesis #1 and found that at least 75 percent of the time associative memory and associative activation provided a solution. Study 2 tested hypotheses #2, #3, and #4. Hypotheses #2 and #3 were tested using a two-way ANOVA, Chi-Square, and Point Biserial Correlation and hypothesis #4 was tested using an independent sample t-test and Point Biserial Correlation. Results of all empirical tests confirm each of the hypotheses, which in turn support the theoretical model.
Title: An Empirical Test of a General Theory of Problem-Solving.
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Name(s): Hall, Justin, author
Shaw, Eric H., Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
College of Business
Department of Marketing
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2017
Date Issued: 2017
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 106 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: The purpose of this research is to better understand how marketers and consumers solve problems. This research first reviews the problem-solving literature, discusses several areas of confusion related to problem-solving, and offers solutions. After resolving the confusion, this research then develops a theoretical model of problemsolving. Four hypotheses are derived from the model, and then empirically tested. The model states that the distinct cognitive domain of problem-solving begins with problem recognition. Given a problem, associative memory and associative activation provide a solution (H #1). This solution is either satisfactory or unsatisfactory. If satisfactory, the individual engages in the satisficing process and accepts the solution (H#2). If unsatisfactory, the individual engages in the decision-making process and searches for information related to an alternative solution (H #3). Thus, the difference between satisficing and decision-making is the search for information (H #4). Problemsolving ends when an intended solution is chosen. A pretest and two studies are conducted to test the four hypotheses. The Pretest demonstrated situations that elicited problem recognition. Study 1 tested hypothesis #1 and found that at least 75 percent of the time associative memory and associative activation provided a solution. Study 2 tested hypotheses #2, #3, and #4. Hypotheses #2 and #3 were tested using a two-way ANOVA, Chi-Square, and Point Biserial Correlation and hypothesis #4 was tested using an independent sample t-test and Point Biserial Correlation. Results of all empirical tests confirm each of the hypotheses, which in turn support the theoretical model.
Identifier: FA00004807 (IID)
Degree granted: Dissertation (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2017.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Game theory.
Problem solving.
Decision making.
Management science.
System theory.
Creative thinking.
Creative ability in business.
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Links: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00004807
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00004807
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Owner Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.