Individual attributes and the problem conceptualization process Article

Herden, RP, Lyles, MA. (1981). Individual attributes and the problem conceptualization process . 2(4), 275-284. 10.3233/HSM-1981-2406

cited authors

  • Herden, RP; Lyles, MA

fiu authors


  • This study was a laboratory experiment designed to explore some of the individual determinants of the problem conceptualization process. Problem conceptualization is defined as the process which begins after recognition that a problem exists and culminates in a conceptual model of the problem. Subjects were presented with a case situation and asked to define the problem. The initial problem definitions were content analyzed and categorized as technical, behavioral, or integrative. Subjects were also categorized based upon whether desired additional information sources were congruent or incongruent with their initial conceptualizations. Finally, subjects were categorized based upon whether their conceptualizations had changed or stayed the same following the presentation of information which was inconsistent with their initial conceptualization. The data indicated that individuals with very similar backgrounds arrived at drastically different initial conceptualizations of the problem. Individuals who formulated narrow initial conceptualizations tended to seek out additional information sources which were consistent with their conceptualization and were less responsive to contradictory information. The subject's Jungian personality types and attitudes toward problem solving provide some insight into the causes of such behaviors. © North-Holland.

publication date

  • January 1, 1981

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 275

end page

  • 284


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