Assessing a new projective problem solving tool using conjoint analysis

Vijay Ramamoorthy, Atila Ertas, Derrick Tate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An innovative process that assists users in non-quantitative problem solving is presented. The process, called Ramic, employs the idea of psychological projection in an innovative way to help users focus, express and think through problems. Its applicability ranges from assisting with simple non-analytic decision-making to developing and assessing strategies. In the virtual realm, harnessing the power of psychological projection for problem solving has been attempted in the form of a process called Sand Tray. Attempts at virtualization have garnered little traction potentially due to encumbrance of the interface. Ramic, in contrast, is innately set up for digital use through a relatively simple interface. A key question this paper explores is how to quantitatively measure the value of Ramic in relation to the well-established process of Sand Tray. Even though these processes operate on qualitative problems, a preference analysis tool called conjoint analysis is used to build an experiment and derive specific user utilities for each process. To perform the study, both processes required testing in the physical domain. A 32-person study is presented and indicates the Ramic projective process to have a 23% higher user utility than Sand Tray in the area of problem solving. As such, it presents an opportunity to explore a new way in which individuals can approach non-analytical problem solving and how computers can assist them in the task.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1550022
JournalInternational Journal on Artificial Intelligence Tools
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2015


  • ADHD
  • Ramic
  • attention
  • blocks
  • conjoint analysis
  • counseling
  • focus
  • psychology
  • psychotherapy
  • sand tray
  • sandplay


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