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37 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

What are the 3 main aspects of problem solving?

1. It is purposeful (EX: goal directed)

2. It involves deliberate or controlled processes and so isn't totally reliant on automatic processes

3. A problem exists only when the person trying to solve it lacks the relevant knowledge to produce an immediate solution. Thus, a mathematical calculation may be a problem for most of us but not for the professional mathematician

What are well defined problems?

all aspects of the problem are clearly specified, including the initial state or situation, the range of possible moves or strategies, and the goal or solution

- it is clear when the goal has been reached

- EX: a maze

What are ill-defined problems?

they are underspecified- there are potentially endless strategies you could adopt, and it is hard to know which ones would be more or less effective

- most everyday problems are ill defined

What are knowledge rich problems?

can only be solved by those having much relevant knowledge

What are knowledge lean problems?

the information needed to solve the problem is contained in the initial problem statement

What is the uniformity fallacy?

we assume that all available options are equally likely whether they are or not

What is functional fixedness?

the inflexible focus on the usual function or functions of an object in problem solving

- failure to solve problems because we assume from past experience that any given object has only a limited number of uses

What is a mental set?

a tendency to approach problems in a way that proves successful in the past

What is insight?

the experience of suddenly realizing how to solve a problem

Which parts of the brain are associated with insight?

- anterior superior temporal gyrus
- right hemisphere

What are three way in which we can change problem representation?

1. Constraint relaxation: inhibitions on what is regarded as permissible are removed

2. Re-encoding: some aspect of the problem representation is reinterpreted

3. Elaboration: new problem information is added to the representation

What part of the brain is involved in imposing constraints on individuals' processing when they are confronted by an insight problem?

the lateral frontal cortex

How can we enhance insight?

- training to avoid (or overcome) the difficulties caused by incorrect representations of the problem

- the use of subtle cues

- positive mood enhances insight

- being exposed to an illuminated light bulb since light bulbs are used as an image representation of insight

What is incubation?

requiring participants to put a problem aside for some time to observe the effects on the subsequent likelihood of solving it; incubation generally enhances problem solving

What is means ends analysis?

a heuristic for solving problems based on creating a subgoal designed to reduce the difference between the current state of a problem and the end or goals state

- not the difference between the current state of the problem and the goal state

- forma subgoal to reduce the difference between the current and goal states

- select a mental operator that permits attainment of the subgoal

**generally very useful, however people tend to use it even when it is not useful

What is hill climbing?

involves changing the present state within the problem into one closer to the goal

- simpler than means ends and is mostly used when there is no clear understanding of the structure of the problem

- involves a focus on short-term goals, and results in a failure to lead to problem solution

What is progress monitoring?

involves assessing their rate of progress towards the goal

- if progress is too slow the problem within the maximum number of moves allowed, a different strategy is adopted

What is analogical problem solving?

a type of problem solving based on detecting analogies or similarities between the current problem and problems solved in the past

- involves the working memory system

What are the 3 main types of similarity between problems?

1. Superficial similarity: solution-irrelevant details (EX: specific objects) are common tot he two problems

2. Structural similarity: causal relations among some of the main components are shared by the two problems

3. Procedural similarity: procedures or actions for turning the solution principle into concrete operations are common to the two problems

How can we improve analogical problem solving?

we find it easier to grasp the underlying structure of a problem if we compare it directly with another problem sharing the same structure

What is a high context culture?

people's behavior is strongly influenced by the immediate social and physical context

- non Western cultures; Brazil, India, and the Philippines for EX

What is low-context culture?

people's behavior is more influenced by perceptions of personal control

- Germany and the US

How do high context and low context societies differ in terms of information gathering?

high context cultures gather more information- consistent with greater emphasis on responding to the immediate situation

- however they may fail to use this information to enhance planning

How do high context cultures and low context cultures differ in terms of planning?

low context cultures engage in more planning- may be because perceived ability to control situations is greater among those in low context cultures

What is hypothesis testing?

an approach t problem solving based on forming a hypothesis or tentative explanation which is then subjected to one or more tests

What is the confirmation bias?

the tendency in hypothesis testing for people to focus excessively on evidence that apparently supports their own hypothesis while ignoring the search for disconfirming evidence

What influences the tendency to show confirmation bias?

- providing visual/ external representation (EX: charts and graphs)

- an individual's level of expertise

What makes up the dual-space in scientific discovery?

- one contains experimental possibilities in the situation

- search in this space is directed towards experiments that will discriminate between rival hypotheses and yield interpretable outcomes

- one contains possible hypotheses

- in searching this space, the initial state is a hypothesis accounting for that knowledge in a more concise, universal form- may involve various mechanisms

What is protocol analysis?

the study and classification of the verbalizations of participants while performing some task

What is the unusualness heuristic?

involves focusing on unusual or unexpected finding and then using these finding to guide the search through the space of hypotheses and the space of experiments

What is inductive reasoning?

generalizations are formed on the basis of a set of observations

- limited approach because future observations might differ from those found so far and thus disprove the generalization

What is expertise?

highly skilled, competent performance in one or more task domains (areas)

How does expertise resemble problem solving?

experts are very efficient at solving numerous problems in their area of expertise

What are templates?

abstract structures containing information relating to about 10 pieces (in chess)

- each template focuses on a particular pattern involving about 10 pieces, with flexibility in terms of the pieces and their locations (in chess)

What is explicit reasoning?

fairly slow, deliberate, and is associated with conscious awareness

What is implicit reasoning?

fast, automatic, and isn't associated with conscious awareness

What are the 4 aspects of deliberate practice?

1. the task is at an appropriate level of difficulty (not too easy or too hard)

2. the learner is given informative feedback about his/her performance

3. the learner has adequate chances to repeat the task

4. the learner has the chance to correct his/ her errors