Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. C. Dominik Güss

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul Fadil

Department Chair

Dr. Michael P. Toglia

College Dean

Dr. Barbara A. Hetrick


The current study examined the problem solving behaviors of novices and experts in a complex computer simulation. Dynamic decision-making and complex problem solving abilities were analyzed to investigate if experts are the most successful of all participants when simulating the role of CEO of a chocolate factory, CHOCO FINE. Participants included novices, business undergraduate students and psychology undergraduate students, and experts, small business owners. Results revealed that small business owners engaged in the most successful dynamic decision-making strategies. Experts compared to novices had more total monies at the end of the simulation, spent more time in the first two months of twenty-four months, spent less money on information collection overall, made the most changes in representatives and advertising, and less changes in market research. This study addressed the differences between novices and experts not only in performance, but also in behavior in a complex and uncertain situation. The findings from this research enhance the dearth of research in addressing the relationship between behavior strategy and performance specifically in the area of expertise. The research at hand extends the previous literature within the domain of decision-making and provides insight for the differences in behavior strategies between novice and expert subjects.