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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

Goode, N. & Beckmann, J.F. (2010). You need to know: There is a causal relationship between structural knowledge and control performance in complex problem solving tasks. Intelligence 38(3): 345-352.

Author(s) from Durham


This study investigates the relationships between structural knowledge, control performance and fluid intelligence in a complex problem solving (CPS) task. 75 participants received either complete, partial or no information regarding the underlying structure of a complex problem solving task, and controlled the task to reach specific goals. Control was best when complete structural information was available and was not better than random when no information was provided. In comparison to previous studies, a moderate to strong correlation between fluid intelligence and control performance was observed across all conditions. It appears that effective complex problem solving requires a combination of task-specific knowledge and abstract thinking skills.

School of Education