Master's Theses


Advanced Education Programs

Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S)


Much is known about the problem-solving process. Despite this availability of information, however, many individuals are not effective when faced with a problem. Bandura (1977) suggested that perceived personal competence or self-efficacy affects the amount of effort expended and also persistence at an activity, and both factors may be necessary for successful problem-solution. The Problem-Solving Inventory (PSI, Heppner, 1988), developed to measure perceived problem-solving ability, was used to relate personal perceptions of problem-solving approaches to success in solving problem tasks. Subjects reporting problem solving confidence and greater perceived control over task outcomes on the PSI attempted more alternative solutions to the problem tasks, but were not more successful in achieving correct solutions. Responses to the PSI did not significantly relate to successful completion of the problem task or to the time subjects spent working on the solution. The PSI has proven useful for planning effective counseling programs to help students solve some kinds of problems. The tasks used in this study could have been solved correctly if the standard problem-solving procedures upon which the PSI was based had been followed, yet the scores on the PSI did not successfully predict success at solving the problem task or the likelihood that the subject would persists until a correct solution was reached. Further research is needed to determine problem areas to which responses to the PSI are relevant and to further explore the relationship of personal variable to effective problem skills.


Robert Markley

Date of Award

Summer 1991

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1991 Janeth K. Dysart


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