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4-24-07 ProblemHO

# 4-24-07 ProblemHO - Cognition Problem Solving Problem...

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Cognition:  Problem Solving April 23, 2007

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Problem Solving A problem is a task in which there is a specific  goal   that must be reached. Problems vary from well-defined to ill-defined.  Well-defined problems  specify the exact set of  operations that need to be carried out to achieve the  goal. Crossword puzzle Chess Ill-defined problems  do not. Most real-world  problems are ill-defined.  Write a story Draw a picture
Problem Solving Steps For it to be a problem, you don’t  immediately know what you need to do in  order to achieve the goal. Problem solving requires the following  three steps : Formulate a representation of the problem. Generate a plan of solution. The plan involves a sequence of operations to  get from the starting point to the goal. Execute the solution plan and check the  results.

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Problem Solving Diagram Form a problem representation Plan a potential solution Execute plan and check results Done Stuck (return after a break) (Variation of Figure 12.1 in text) If fail If fail If fail If OK If OK If OK
Forming A Problem  Representation The problem representation can be: Verbal. Visuospatial.

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Insight Awareness of the correct representation of a   problem. People are not successful at predicting  whether or not they will solve problems that  require insight into a specific representation.  Solution to problem seems to occur suddenly. A rapid reformulation of the problem occurs.
Insight and Consciousness Siegler and Stern (1998): Subjects were 2 nd  graders. Arithmetic problems that could be solved either by  a formula or by a shortcut. Over 90% of the subjects noticed the shortcut, as  indicated by a sharp reduction in RT. Subjects then verbally describe how they solved  the problems. Results: Subjects did not seem to notice that they  had used the shortcut until after several trials. Thus, conscious awareness (metacognition) is  different from and is not a requirement for insight.

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Insight and Analogy Insight can come from noticing an analogy relevant to  solving the problem. An analogy is a mapping of relationships from one  situation onto another.  In other words, a new representation of the problem is  created. The relationships of the analogy lead to the generation of the  solution. Gick and Holyoak (1980) Investigated the  factors that influence the application of  analogies.
The Radiation Problem   Suppose you are a doctor faced with a patient who has a  malignant tumor in his stomach. It is impossible to operate on the  patient, but unless the tumor is destroyed the patient will die.

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