Lindsey Depledge (@DepledgeLindsey), MSc Psychology of Economic Life


I was born and raised in Southern California and have always had a curiosity to push my limits with creative ideas. My background in public health showed me that there needed to be an different to interventions, specifically behavioural interventions. I pursued the MSc in Psychology of Economic Life so I could gain this different approach, strengthen my knowledge of understanding behaviour in context, and strengthen my research background. I now manage a research driven team development programme as a Behavioural Assessment Programme Manager, a position stemming directly from my dissertation work,


Escaping Traditional Problem-Solving: The Effects of Labour Division and Leadership on Group Problem-Solving.

Supervisor: Saadi Lahlou

Everyday humans are faced with problems to solve, some of which are done in groups. Problem- solving has been analysed for decades, but has been difficult to contextualise. Escape rooms might be an environment that can provide contextualization to problem-solving because successful completion requires attention to detail, communication, and group problem-solving. Escape room’s voluntary nature and replicability create a potentially externally valid lab experiment. This dissertation chose an exploratory qualitative study to extrapolate phenomenon in this environment. Utilising Subjective Evidence Based Ethnography (SEBE) for data collection, over 35 hours of interviews and ethnographic data were recorded from participants in 8 groups. One task in the escape room was chosen to analyse in-depth; using time as an outcome variable, groups were ranked as high performing or low performing. Graphical visualisations of each group were created to represent the problem-solving process of the individual compared to the group. This data found that labour division and leadership are interconnected to the problem- solving process. In all teams, acts of leadership prompt labour division, and full labour division occurs during the identification of the problem and solution implementation. High performing teams were focused on the task and elements of managerial leadership was present. Low performing teams quickly seized new solutions, and had no leadership or authoritative leadership. The findings are relevant for understanding problem-solving in workplace dynamics where leadership and labour division are present.