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James N. MacGregor, PhD (UVic)

James MacGregor

James N. MacGregor
Professor

PhD (Psychology)
University of Victoria, 1979

MSc (Psychology)
University of Victoria, 1975

MA (Psychology)
University of Glasgow, 1970


UVic Office: HSD A360
UVic Office Phone: 250.721.6435
Fax: 250.721.8849
E-mail: jmacgreg@uvic.ca


Professional Information & Research Interests  |  Selected Publications  |  Grants & Awards  |  Recent Speaking Engagements & Event Participation  |  Courses Taught  |   Professional Appointments & Memberships


Professional Information & Research Interests

Professional Information

Jim MacGregor has taught at the University of Victoria since 1979, and became a full professor at the School of Public Administration in 1992. His primary research interest is in problem solving, and he is a member of an international team that studies insightful problem solving supported by grants from NSERC and SSHRC. He has held visiting appointments with the University of York, University of Loughborough, and Lancaster University, in the UK. He has worked with a number of public and private agencies in areas of organizational psychology, human factors and research methodology, including the Atomic Energy Control Board, the Department of Communications, the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, the BC Ministry of the Environment, the BC Ministry of Health, BC Lotteries, Elections BC and the BC Public Service Commission.

Research Interests

  • Organizational behaviour

  • Human information processing

  • Problem solving

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Selected Publications

Books and Book Sections

  • "Menu Driven Systems," A. Kent & J.G. Williams (eds), Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Technology, Vol. 25, 181-210, Marcel Dekker: New York, 1992.

Journals and Other Articles

  • "The effects of number and level of restructuring in insight problem solving,"(with B. Cunningham) Journal of Problem Solving 2(2), 2009, 130-141.

  • "Categories of insight and their correlates: An exploration of relationships among classic-type insight problems, rebus puzzles, remote associates and esoteric analogies," (with B. Cunningham, J. Gibb & J. Haar) Journal of Creative Behavior 43(4), 2009, 262-280.   

  • "Training insightful problem solving: Effects of realistic and puzzle-like contexts,"(with B.Cunningham) Creativity Research Journal 20, 2008, 291-296.

  • "Individual differences in optimization problem solving: Reconciling conflicting results,” (with E.Chronicle, M. Lee, T. Ormerod, &  P.Hughes) Journal of Problem Solving 2(1), 2008, 41-49.

  • "Factors in absenteeism and presenteeism: Life events and health events,"(with B. Cunningham & N. Caverley) Management Research News 31(8), 2008, 607-615.

  • "Rebus puzzles as insight problems," (with B. Cunningham) Behavior Research Methods 40, 2008, 263-268.

  • "Sickness presenteeism, sickness absenteeism, and health following restructuring in a public service organization," (with B. Cunningham & N. Caverley) Journal of Management Studies 44(2), 2007, 304-319.

  • "The Echo approach in developing items for student evaluation of faculty performance," (with B. Cunningham) Teaching of Psychology 33(2), Spring 2006, 96-100.

  • "Optimizing and “pessimizing” – human performance with instructional variants of the travelling salesperson problem,” (With E. Chronicle, & T. Ormerod) Journal of Problem Solving 1 , 2006, 74-82. 

  • "A comparison of heuristic and human performance on open versions of the Traveling Salesperson Problem," (with E. Chronicle & T. Ormerod) Journal of Problem Solving 1, 2006, 33-43.

  • "The Use and Effectiveness of Information and Communications Technology in Volunteer Programs," (with Y. Harrison and V. Murray) Toronto: Canadian Centre for Philanthropy, 2004.

  • "Beyond Anecdotes: The Impact of Information and Communications Technology on the Management of Volunteer Programs in Canada," (with Y. Harrison and V. Murray) Toronto: Canadian Centre for Philanthropy, 2004.

  • "What Influences the Use and Effectiveness of Information and Communications Technology?" (with Y. Harrison and V. Murray) Canadian Journal of Volunteer Resources Management, 12(2), 2004, 17-19.

  • "What makes an insight problem?  The roles of problem-solving heuristic, goal conception and solution recoding," (with E.P. Chronicle and T.C. Ormerod) Journal of Experimental  Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition 30 , 2004, 14-27.

  • "Convex-Hull or Crossing-Avoidance? Solution Heuristics in the Traveling Salesperson Problem," (with E.P. Chronicle and T.C. Ormerod)  Memory & Cognition, 32, 2004, 260–270.

  • "Dynamics and constraints in insight problem-solving," (with T.C. Ormerod and E.P. Chronicle) Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 28, 2002, 791-99.

  • "When insight just won’t come: The failure of visual cues in the nine-dot problem," (with E.P. Chronicle and T.C. Ormerod) Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 54(3), 2001, 903-919.

  • "Information processing and insight: A process model of performance on the nine-dot and related problems," (with T.C. Ormerod and E.P. Chronicle) Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 27, 2001, 176-201.

  • "Trust and the design of work: Complementary constructs in satisfaction and performance," (with J.B. Cunningham) Human Relations, 53(12), 2001, 1575-91.

  • "A model of human performance on the travelling salesperson problem," (with T.C. Ormerod and E.P. Chronicle) Memory & Cognition, 28(7), 2000, 1183-90.

  • "Evaluating the importance of the convex hull in solving the Euclidean version of the traveling salesperson problem: Reply to Lee and Vickers 2000," (with T.C. Ormerod and E.P. Chronicle) Perception & Psychophysics 62(7), 2000, 1501-03.

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Grants & Awards

  • SSHRC grant (2004-2007): Insight Problem Solving (co-investigator).

  • NSERC grant (2001-2005) $52,000: An Information Processing Approach to Insightful Problem-Solving.

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Recent Speaking Engagements & Event Participation

  • 2010: "Taxomonic  categorization effects in insight problem solving" (with B. Cunningham & J. Walinga) Granada, Spain.

  • 2010: "Training insight problem solving through focus on barriers and assumptions" (with B. Cunningham &, J. Walinga) Granada, Spain.

  • 2008: "Testing hypotheses about insight problem solving, New Perspectives in Problem Solving" (with B. Cunningham ) Purdue University.  

  • 2008: "Understanding the characteristics of creative insights" (with B. Cunningham, J.Gibb & J. Haar) Academy of Management Conference, Anneheim, California.

  • 2007: "Competencies that older workers use in successfully adapting during their careers" (with B. Cunningham) European Academy of Management, Paris, France.

  • 2007: "Stress, absenteeism, and presenteeism" (with B. Cunningham) Western Academy of Management,  Missoula, Montana.

  • 2006: "An experimental test of rebus puzzles as insight problems" (with Bart Cunningham) paper presented at the Australian/New Zealand Psychological Societies Conference, Aukland, New Zealand.

  • 2006: "Understanding failure as the basis of successful spontaneous analogy" (with T.C. Ormerod and E.P. Chronicle) paper presented at the British Psychological Society (Cognitive Section) Annual Conference, Lancaster, UK.

  • 2006: "Imagination, ideas, and productive thinking in insight problem solving: A description and measure" (with Bart Cunningham) paper presented at the Irish Academy of Management Conference in Cork, Ireland.

  • 2006: "Assessing Creative Problem Solving: the Roles of Productive and Divergent Thinking in Insight" (with Bart Cunningham) paper presented to the British Academy of Management Conference in Belfast, UK.

  • 2006: "Decision time versus execution time in a multi-move optimization problem: An exploratory analysis" paper presented to the Mathematical Psychology Society Conference, Vancouver, BC.

  • 2006: "The remnants of insight" (with T.C. Ormerod, E. Fioratou and E.P. Chronicle) poster presentation at the Cognitive Science Society Conference, Vancouver, BC.

  • 2006: "Asymmetrical analogical transfer in insight problem solving" (with T.C. Ormerod and E.P. Chronicle) poster presentation at the Cognitive Science Society Conference, Vancouver, BC.

  • 2005: "Solution performance and heuristics in closed and open versions of 2D Euclidean TSPs" invited paper presented at the first Human Problem Solving Workshop, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

  • 2004: "Human Heuristics For Two Versions Of A Combinatorial Optimization Problem" (with E.P. Chronicle and T.C. Ormerod) paper presented at the 45th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Minneapolis, MN.

  • 2004: "Predicting performance from a model of insight" (with E.P. Chronicle and T.C. Ormerod) paper presented at the Annual Experimental Psychology Society Meeting, Lancaster, UK.

  • 2004: "The place of restructuring in problem-solving" (with T.C. Ormerod and E.P. Chronicle) paper presented at the Fifth International Conference on Thinking, Leuven, Belgium.

  • 2004: "Determinants of difficulty in the cheap necklace problem" (with E.P. Chronicle, E. Fioratou, T.C. Ormerod and E. Hesketh) paper presented at the Fifth International Conference on Thinking, Leuven, Belgium.

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Courses Taught

  • ADMN 314: Public Sector Research & Analysis

  • ADMN 502A: Research Methods I

  • ADMN 502B: Research Methods II

  • ADMN 602: Research Methods

  • ADMN 607: Organizational Behaviour

  • ADMN 645: Organizational Development and Change

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Professional Appointments & Memberships

  • Member, Experimental Psychology Society

  • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Problem Solving

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