Chapter 9

Chapter 9 - Chapter 9 Problem Solving: Problems vary in...

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Chapter 9 Problem Solving: Problems vary in their demands and elicit different types of thinking Types of thinking: a) Directed thinking: goal oriented and rational; requires a clear, well –defined goal; one must then find a path that leads to the goal, with the aim of doing so as directly as possible; avoids wandering aimlessly, exploring odd options, and looking for creative solutions. b) Undirected thinking: wandering thoughts that meanders and is anything but rational and goal oriented (daydreaming and dreaming were id-ed as undirected thought by Freud); takes us to destinations that are sometimes murky and sometimes insightful; can play a role in creativity and in the solutions to problems that are poorly defined a) Well defined and Ill Defined Problems -well defined problem: directed thinking begins with the assumption that the problem at hand is a well-defined problem; has a definable initial state ( need to dinner) , goal state ( steak dinner) , and one or more paths to obtaining that goal. Each path can be specifies as a series of intermediate states, some of which are critical subgoals ( burning coals) . -the way in which one moves from one state to the next is defined by a set of rules. Each legal move from the initial state to intermediate states to the final goal state is defined by an operator . -all of the states and operators taken together define what is called a problem space . -a problem space that exists for a given person may include errors or omissions. If an operator is misunderstood, such as the rule for moving a knight in chess, then a flawed problem space would be generated. ( an inexperienced chess player who never moves knights would be working within an incomplete problem space) - ill defined problem: problems in which the goal state, the initial state, and/or the operators aren’t clearly defined; writing an essay, painting a picture, and creating a garden ( solutions can’t be specified in advance, let alone the path for arriving at the eventual solution) ; b) Productive and Reproductive Problem Solving -productive thinking: requires insight and creativity; the thinker must think of new ways of organizing the problem a new way of structuring the elements of thoughts and perception -reproductive thinking: entails the application of tried and true paths to a solution; the thinker reproduces a series of steps that are known to yield a workable answer by using rote memory -exp) insight (chimpanzee would first be lost in thought but then suddenly the light bulb of insight would flash, and it would move crates under the banana, stacking them to form a ladder to reach the food; it would insightfully learn to join together two sticks in order to reach a banana lying outside the cage) vs . trial & error (can be regarded as one form of reproductive thinking; cat discovering an escape route) c) Relations among terms -Ill defined productive thinking; undirected thoughts are a means for achieving insights
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-well defined reproductive problem solving and directed thought
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2011 for the course PSYCH 3 taught by Professor Mauldin during the Winter '11 term at UCSD.

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Chapter 9 - Chapter 9 Problem Solving: Problems vary in...

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