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PSY FPX 7421 Assessment 6 Problem Solving, Decision Making, and Intelligence


Capella University

PSY FPX 7421 Cognitive/Affective Psychology

Prof. Name


Problem Solving, Decision Making, and Intelligence

Problem solving, decision making, and intelligence are essential cognitive processes crucial for navigating daily challenges and achieving goals. Problem solving involves employing creativity to surmount obstacles and reach desired outcomes, while decision making relies on reasoning and understanding consequences to determine the optimal course of action. Intelligence, whether human or artificial, encompasses cognitive abilities vital for adaptation and learning. These processes are interrelated and often influence each other in diverse contexts. This review explores literature on problem solving, decision making, and intelligence, considering multicultural and ethical aspects and examining their physiological foundations.

Problem-Solving and Creativity

Problem solving and creativity are intertwined cognitive functions, both contributing to innovative solutions. Problem solving entails identifying barriers to goals and devising strategies to overcome them (Goldstein, 2019). Creativity, defined as the generation of novel ideas with potential value, plays a crucial role in problem solving. Creative problem solving involves thinking innovatively to generate unconventional solutions. Gestalt psychologists highlight the importance of problem representation and reorganization in productive thinking (Goldstein, 2019). Convergent and divergent thinking patterns influence creative problem solving, with the latter allowing for the exploration of multiple solutions (Goldstein, 2019).

Multicultural/Ethical Aspects

In multicultural settings, incorporating diverse perspectives enhances creativity in problem solving. While brainstorming is common, individual idea generation followed by group synthesis may be more effective (Goldstein, 2019). Diversity within teams fosters creativity by incorporating unique viewpoints (Leung & Wang, 2015). Ethical considerations also influence problem solving and decision making. How choices are framed can impact decision-making strategies, leading to ethical dilemmas (Goldberg, 2019). Emotional influences on reasoning and decision making further complicate ethical considerations, as emotions can sway choices and perceptions (Goldberg, 2019).

Brain Physiology

The physiological basis of problem solving and decision making involves intricate neural networks. Brain imaging studies reveal the involvement of executive control networks during creative tasks (Goldstein, 2019). Different types of problem solving engage distinct brain regions, illustrating the complexity of cognitive processes (Goldstein, 2019). Decision making relies on brain areas associated with emotion and cognitive control, with neural activity reflecting the evaluation of choices (Goldberg, 2019).

Decision Making and Reasoning

Decision making encompasses various reasoning strategies, including inductive and deductive approaches. Inductive reasoning involves drawing conclusions based on observations and past experiences (Team, 2023). Deductive reasoning relies on logical assumptions to derive conclusions, albeit with potential limitations in flexibility (Team, 2023). Decision-making frameworks, such as the utility approach, emphasize rational decision making but may overlook emotional and contextual factors (Goldberg, 2019). Dual systems theory suggests that unconscious and conscious mental processes influence decision making (Goldberg, 2019).

Human and Artificial Intelligence

Intelligence comprises cognitive abilities essential for learning and adaptation. Human intelligence involves complex cognitive processes such as inference, language use, and problem solving (Miller, 2003). Artificial intelligence (AI) simulates cognitive functions through reinforcement learning algorithms (Zhao et al., 2022). Despite advancements, AI lacks emotional intelligence, posing challenges in decision-making contexts (Zhao et al., 2022). Multicultural considerations challenge traditional classifications of intelligence, highlighting the social construction of concepts like race (Sternberg, 2012).

PSY FPX 7421 Assessment 6 Problem Solving, Decision Making, and Intelligence


Problem solving, decision making, and intelligence are interconnected cognitive processes influenced by multicultural, ethical, and physiological factors. Understanding the complexities of these processes is crucial for addressing societal challenges and advancing cognitive science.


Goldstein, B. E. (2019). Cognitive psychology: Connecting mind, research, and everyday experience (5th ed.). Cengage.

Leung, K., & Wang, J. (2015). Social processes and team creativity in multicultural teams: A socio-technical framework. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 36(7), 1008–1025.

Miller, G. A. (2003). The cognitive revolution: A historical perspective. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7, 141–144.

Sternberg, R. J. (2012). Intelligence. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 14(1), 19–27.

Team, D. E. (2023, March 12). Inductive versus deductive reasoning: Understand the differences. Retrieved from

PSY FPX 7421 Assessment 6 Problem Solving, Decision Making, and Intelligence

Zhao, J., Wu, M., Zhou, L., Wang, X., & Jia, J. (2022). Cognitive psychology-based Artificial Intelligence Review. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 16.

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