Associative strength in problem solving

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Associative strength in problem solving

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ASSOCIATIVE STEIHGT1 IS PSOSLUI SOL?ISO

by Abe,Judson

Thesis submitted to the faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Maryland in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

195®

UMI Number: DP70418

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

la part, this research was conducted under Contract M7-CBB-397, Task Order III, between the Office of Haval Research And the University of Maiyland. I should like to express thanks to John Farlee, who helped run subjects in the fifth experiment.

Rebecca Renner was good enough to

offer her help in the preparation of tne tnesisj 1 am grateful to her* Professors 1* G. Andrews and R, C. Hackman served as members of my thesis comitted.

I as indebted to thea not only for their advice but

for their encouragement as well. Professor C. H. Gofer directed the thesis.

An adequate expression

of my debt to his would be unseemly} 1 should like merely to say that I am grateful for the opportunity to work with him.

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(although not necessarily# a* in manipulative or mechanical pussies) dee®riplive of or inferred from behavior that i« essentially verbal, for ososiplot the flash enperleiiee of Insight to said to eecur when* la a spseifl* m m * a subjeet westdng oa the Kaler two* string problem ijf) suddenly says* *0h# 1 too - * you hr.ro to eenvert oao of tho strings to a pendulum.* & subject to faced with the following problem!

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human being ^tth an inoperable utemaeli tumor, and m y * which destroy signal* tissue at sufficient intensity# by what procedure ooa oao fro® hl» of tho tunny by these rays aad at tho sen* tine avoid destroying tho heel thy tissue which surrounds it.*(11* p.l). fht various unsuccessful verbal attempt* at eolutloa any* depending oa the rlgsrsasasst with which wo moo tho term* ho sfcaanetsvissd at trial sad orror behavior# If la the ray problem* either at a result of different last m e t lent or different tatsfsets* oao group concent rates lie offorto at modifying the m y o and the second at acidifying the tissue, wo may toy that the two troupe hare 41 fforest sole toward the problem or have adopted differ* oat diroot lone in seeking for a solution to the problem,

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direction ie Inferred from what the subject •ays.

In none of these instances, is the Interest of the investigator directed toward the word* tfcsaeslvss*

Hie interest is focussed upon

the various concept*? the words are simply a oonwonlent aeans of oh*

talaiag infom a t ion about the reasoning presses but are not In them* solves eons 1dared to piay an Important role in rsashlag the solution. It may be eaid that the assumption* implicitly common to all such investigations are: (1) Other than &« a means pf ossssunlentixif the '-■ * \ '4 ■, ,•' solution or attempts at solution* the words art not important factor* in the reasoning process,

it) fho vocabulary of the various subjects

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?a»u m i x frequency af lospoa** to #lToa^rell£ioa# Ite»« for Catholics, Protestants and f«nr« (Continued)

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ftm first masabiimotis m r & la a aeries exert* an Inhibitory effect

upon the alternative raepeaee e**t*t©rl*« that a succeeding sshl^uaut vert would ordinarily strengthen,

the magnitude of thle effect le

apparently a function of the preeiee serial arrangeaent of word®. 3,

A anafeer of *religion* questions tended to discriminate among subject*

vith attuned dlffereneee in associative strength to * religion11 words vherea* #a@a-religleii* questions did not.

Thi* indicate* that differ*

entlal associative strength le a footer In response*

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la Chapters II* III and IT* studies were presented which wars Interpreted t© show that behavior ia a proUtK nitmotion is % function of previous response tendencies I© the elements of the problem sitaution. these response tendencies had been