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See detailDeterminants of individual occupational careers in the 21st century. Does complex problem solving matter beyond general mental ability?
Mainert, Jakob UL; Kretzschmar, André UL; Neubert, Jonas UL et al

Scientific Conference (2015, May 21)

Purpose Complex problem solving (CPS) describes the interaction with dynamic and nonroutine tasks, and has been included in PISA 2012 as a factor for employability. This study examines whether CPS can ... [more ▼]

Purpose Complex problem solving (CPS) describes the interaction with dynamic and nonroutine tasks, and has been included in PISA 2012 as a factor for employability. This study examines whether CPS can also contribute to the prediction of career advancement in jobs beyond general mental ability (GMA) as one of the best predictors. Design/Methodology Using latent structural equation modeling (SEM), we analyzed a sample of technicians, service/trade workers, and assemblers (n=245) at a German automotive company. A computer-based assessment measured participants' CPS and GMA levels. The dependent variables were the participants’ job level (ISCO-08) and professional training days. Results CPS and GMA both correlated significantly with career advancement (from .18 to .26, all p < .01). The models showed good fit and indicated that CPS explained incremental variance in one of two indicators (β = .14 for trainings, p < .05; ΔR2 = .02) in comparison with GMA alone (β = .24, p < 0.01; R2= .06). Limitations Analyses did not include processes information from CPS assessment as potential advantage. The company-based sample and cross-sectional data restrict inferences. Research Implications Our findings suggest positive relations between CPS and career advancement even when controlling for GMA. Hence, CPS could be a valuable addition for the study of careers and personnel selection test batteries. Originality/Value The first evaluation of CPS in career research gave a general indication of an as-yet-to-be-defined role of CPS, especially when considering the task characteristics compared to complex and demanding jobs, and process data available through CPS. [less ▲]

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See detailLinking complex problem solving to Innovation via opportunity competence
Baggen, Yvette; Mainert, Jakob UL; Neubert, Jonas UL et al

in International Journal of Lifelong Education (2015), 34

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See detailThematic workshop on complex problem solving.
Greiff, Samuel UL; Mainert, Jakob UL; Kretzschmar, André UL

Scientific Conference (2015)

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See detailThe Assessment of 21st Century Skills in Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Complex and Collaborative Problem Solving
Neubert, Jonas UL; Mainert, Jakob UL; Kretzschmar, André UL et al

in Industrial and Organizational Psychology (2015), 8(2), 1-31

In the current paper, we highlight why and how industrial and organizational psychology can take advantage of research on 21st century skills and their assessment. We present vital theoretical ... [more ▼]

In the current paper, we highlight why and how industrial and organizational psychology can take advantage of research on 21st century skills and their assessment. We present vital theoretical perspectives, a suitable framework for assessment, and exemplary instruments with a focus on advances in the assessment of Human Capital. Specifically, Complex Problem Solving (CPS) and Collaborative Problem Solving (ColPS) are two transversal skills (i.e., skills that span multiple domains) that are generally considered critical in the 21st century workplace. The assessment of these skills in education has linked fundamental research with practical applicability and has provided a useful template for workplace assessment. Both CPS and ColPS capture the interaction of individuals with problems that require the active acquisition and application of knowledge in individual or group settings. To ignite a discussion in industrial and organizational psychology, we discuss advances in the assessment of CPS and ColPS and propose ways to move beyond the current state of the art in assessing job-related skills. [less ▲]

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See detailKomplexes Problemlösen in Large Scale Assessments: Konstruktvalidität eines innovativen Assessments
Mainert, Jakob UL; Greiff, Samuel UL

Scientific Conference (2014, September 22)

Aktuelle Tests zum Komplexen Problemlösen (KPL) geben an dynamische und interaktive Probleme, wie sie beim Lernen und am Arbeitsplatz immer mehr vorkommen, zu simulieren. Dabei überschneidet sich KPL ... [more ▼]

Aktuelle Tests zum Komplexen Problemlösen (KPL) geben an dynamische und interaktive Probleme, wie sie beim Lernen und am Arbeitsplatz immer mehr vorkommen, zu simulieren. Dabei überschneidet sich KPL empirisch teilweise mit allgemeiner Intelligenz. Einzelbefunde sagen zwar Erfolg in Schule und Beruf durch KPL über Intelligenz hinaus vorher, doch spätestens mit der Aufnahme in Large Scale Assessments (LSA) wie PISA steht eine Validierung von KPL auf Konstruktebene aus, um die Anwendbarkeit in LSA empirisch zu fundieren. Ergebnisse zu konvergenter, divergenter und prädiktiver Validität dreier Messinstrumente für KPL sind die Ausganglage für die Fragestellungen, ob (1) drei KPL-Tests empirisch konvergieren, (2) KPL klar abgrenzbar von Intelligenz ist und (3) KPL auf Konstruktebene Schulerfolg vorhersagt? Wir untersuchten eine studentische Stichprobe (n=339) mit KPL-Tests ähnlicher zugrundeliegender Struktur und einem Matrizentest zu schlussfolgerndem Denken als Intelligenzmaß. Schulnoten als Maß für Schulerfolg wurden ebenfalls erhoben. Für Frage (1) kam ein Multitrait-Multimethod-Ansatz zum Einsatz, der die Generalisierbarkeit von Ergebnissen einzelner Messmethoden auf die Konstruktebene empirisch prüft. Für die Fragen (2) und (3), die Zusammenhänge zu schlussfolgerndem Denken und Schulerfolg betrachten, verwendeten wir Strukturgleichungsmodelle. Mit Konsistenzmaßen zwischen .50 und .60 sind die KPL-Tests ausreichend konvergent in dem, was sie messen. Damit sind die KPL-Werte relativ unabhängig von ihren Instrumenten. Wir haben auch Hinweise, dass KPL verschieden ist von Intelligenz, indem letzteres zwei KPL Dimensionen, Wissenserwerb und Wissensanwendung, nur mit βERW=.49 und βANW=.53 vorhersagte. Schulerfolg klärte KPL unabhängig von Intelligenz für naturwissenschaftliche Fächer mit βKPL=.22 auf. Die Ergebnisse bestätigen die Anwendbarkeit von innovativen KPL Assessments auch in sehr großen Erhebungen und stärken nicht zuletzt die Tragfähigkeit von Entscheidungen in der Praxis, die auf solche Ergebnisse zurückgreift und auf deren Validität angewiesen ist. [less ▲]

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See detailDeterminants of Individual Occupational Careers in the 21st Century – Why Complex Problem Solving Matters Beyond General Mental Ability
Mainert, Jakob UL; Kretzschmar, André UL; Müller, Jonas UL et al

Scientific Conference (2014, August 27)

The OECD (2010) views problem solving as essential for lifelong learning. Recently, the 2012 PISA cycle administered domain-general problems, which featured the complexity of the structure, dynamics and ... [more ▼]

The OECD (2010) views problem solving as essential for lifelong learning. Recently, the 2012 PISA cycle administered domain-general problems, which featured the complexity of the structure, dynamics and interconnections of variables, and intransparency of the situation. This emphasis on domain-general problems expresses a paradigmatic shift to lifelong learning. In an attempt towards an integrative process theory of CPS, Fischer, Greiff and Funke (2012) portray knowledge acquisition and knowledge application as the core processes of CPS, which are distinguishable from classical cognitive ability (Dörner, 1986). These core processes are assessed in research via innovative computer-based microworlds. These microworlds simulate complex problems, which share features with real world problems, require knowledge acquisition and knowledge application for a successful task completion and offer a wide range of tasks and approaches (Greiff, Holt, et al., 2013; Greiff, Fischer, et al., 2013). Initiatives looking for the facilitation of so-called 21st century skills (e.g., Griffin, McGaw, & Care, 2012; National Research Council, 2012a; OECD, 2013a, 2013b) strongly relate CPS to demands for professional development as resulting from shifts towards non-routine problem solving and communication tasks in the working lives of adults (e.g., successfully adapting towards IT-depending occupations; Autor, Levy, & Murnane, 2003). So far, the application of CPS in research and practice has mainly been restricted to primary and secondary education. Lifespan or educational research on the role of transversal cognitive skills such as CPS for learning later in life is scarce at best and adult education practice fails to fully tap into the requirements of a working reality (Smith & Reio, 2006), which is defined by uncertainties, contradictions, and dynamic changes. CPS is considered to be important for lifelong learning and occupational success, but underrepresented in research and practice. As a consequence, adult education’s mission to provide opportunities for career preparation (e.g., Gianakos, 1996) and intellectual growth (Perry, 1999) seem to be at risk. Hence, the research goals in this study are to (1) enlarge the understanding for determinants of occupational career indicators (e.g. lifelong learning efforts) and eventually (2) encourage the inclusion of CPS on the adult educational research and practice agenda. Our research goals are built on a rich research fundus of the impact of GMA on professional development (e.g., Schmidt & Hunter, 1998) and promising results on the predictive validity of CPS for academic achievement (e.g., Schweizer, Wüstenberg, & Greiff, 2013; Sonnleitner, Keller, Martin, & Brunner, 2013; Wüstenberg, Greiff, & Funke, 2012) and occupational performance (Abele et al., 2012; Danner et al., 2011). Hence, the targeted constructs are GMA, and CPS as a transversal cognitive skill in occupational careers and professional development. [less ▲]

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See detailKomplexes Problemlösen als eigenständiges Konstrukt
Mainert, Jakob UL; Müller, Jonas UL; Greiff, Samuel UL et al

Scientific Conference (2013, September 25)

Recently published studies on Complex Problem Solving (CPS) suggest that assessments of CPS using multiple complex systems are only moderately related to tests of classical cognitive abilities. Further ... [more ▼]

Recently published studies on Complex Problem Solving (CPS) suggest that assessments of CPS using multiple complex systems are only moderately related to tests of classical cognitive abilities. Further, CPS assessments show incremental validity beyond tests of other cognitive abilities when predicting relevant outcomes. However, these empirical accounts have relied on single CPS assessment instruments. We do not know whether these findings will generalize to the construct level across different CPS assessment instruments. To answer this question, we tested a sample of N = 339 German university students who completed three CPS assessment instruments based on multiple complex systems (MicroDYN, the Genetics Lab, and MicroFIN) and the matrices subtest of the Intelligence Structure Test as measure of reasoning. Students further reported their school grades. Analyses including latent multitrait–multimethod models provided support for the conceptualization of CPS as a complex cognitive ability. Results indicated that different CPS assessment instruments showed sufficient convergent validity (with a consistency mostly between .50 and .60). In addition, we found evidence for the divergent validity of CPS from reasoning (reasoning predicted two CPS facets, knowledge and control, àKNOW = .49 and àCON = .53, respectively). In the prediction of academic achieve- ment, CPS explained variance in natural science grades after we controlled for reasoning (àCPS = .22), whereas social science grades were not predicted. Our findings suggest that the validity of CPS generalizes across different measurement instruments. [less ▲]

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