Fire and Ice: Cultural Influences on Complex Problem Solving


Previous research on complex problem solving (CPS) has been conducted mostly in western-industrialized countries and has often focused on individual differences such as intelligence to explain performance. We tested a model postulating that cultural values influence CPS strategies and CPS strategies in turn influence performance when controlling for individual difference variables. Participants were 535 students in five countries: Brazil, India, Germany, the Philippines, and the United States. They had to protect cities from fires and prevent goods from perishing in two microworlds with different demands. Fit indexes show reasonable fit of the theoretical model in the two microworlds. Results highlight the influence of culture on CPS.

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