__Abstract__.
A computational model is presented that explores the effect of
diversity among members’ problem-solving strategies on group
problem-solving performance. The model is called ValSeek, after
the value-seeking problems with which it is concerned. A
value-seeking problem requires problem solvers to choose from a set of
solution alternatives that vary in their underlying value. The
goal is to discover the solution with the highest value. The
model is restricted to problems for which it is impractical to evaluate
every possible solution alternative. For such problems, the
strategies that problem solvers use to navigate the solution space are
critical to their performance. The article describes how
value-seeking problems, and various strategies for solving them, are
represented generically in the computer program that instantiates the
model. The results of a simulation study using this model suggest
that (a) diverse groups should perform better than homogeneous groups,
(b) diverse groups should perform better than even their best
individual members, and (c) cooperative interaction between members
during problem solving should benefit the performance of diverse groups
but impair the performance of homogeneous groups.