Rational problem solving I (D’Zurilla & Nezu, 2006)

13 October 2010

The model identifies four major problem-solving skills: 1) problem definition and formulation, 2) generation of alternative solutions, 3) decision-making, and 4) solution implementation and verification. These four skills may be viewed as a set of specific goal-directed tasks that enable a person to solve a particular problem successfully. Each task has its own unique purpose or function in the problem-solving process. The function of problem definition and formulation is to gather relevant, factual information about the problem, clarify the nature of the problem (i.e., identify demands, obstacles, and/or conflicts), and set a realistic problem solving goal. The purpose of generation of alternative solutions is to produce a list of potential solutions in such a way as to maximize the likelihood that the best solution will be among them. This is accomplished by applying three principles; quantity, deferment of judgement, and variety. To apply the quantity principle, the person generates as many solutions as possible.When using the deferment of judgment principle, the person suspends judgment or critical evaluation of solutions until later in the problem-solving process (i.e., during the decision-making task). To apply the variety principle, the person generates as many different types of solutions as possible.

The purpose of decision-making is to evaluate (judge and compare) the available solutions and choose the best one(s) for implementation in the problematic situation. In the present model, the best solution is the one that is most likely to achieve the problem-solving goal while maximizing positive consequences and minimizing negative consequences. Finally, the function of solution implementation and verification is to assess the solution outcome and verify the effectiveness or utility of the chosen solution in the actual problematic situation.

(D’Zurilla & Nezu, 2006, s. 23)


Rational problem solving II (D’Zurilla & Nezu, 2006)

13 October 2010

Rational problem solving is a constructive problem-solving style that is defined as the rational, deliberate, and systematic application of effective problem-solving skills. As described in the original model, there are four major problem skills: 1) problem definition and formulation, 2) generation of alternative solutions, 3) decision-making, and 4) solution implementation and verification. In problem definition and formulation, the problem solver tries to clarify and understand the problem by gathering as many specific and concrete facts about the problem as possible, identifying demands and obstacles, and setting realistic problem-solving goals (e.g., changing the situation for the better, accepting the situation, and minimizing emotional distress.) In the generation of alternative solutions, the person focuses on the problem-solving goals and tries to identify as many potential solutions as possible, including a variety of different conventional and original solutions. In decision making, the problem solver anticipates the consequences of the different solutions, judges and compares them, and then chooses the best or potentially most effective solution. In the final step, solution implementation and verification, the person carefully monitors and evaluates the outcome of the chosen solution after attempting to implement it in the real-life problematic situation.

(D’Zurilla & Nezu, 2006, s. 25)