Lecture 17

Prove that there must be a spot along the path that

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Prove that there must be a spot along the path that the monk will pass on both trips at exactly the same time of day.

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Problem Representation Situated Cognition: The Importance of Context situated-cognition approach—our ability to solve a problem is tied into the specific context in which we learned to solve that problem abstract intelligence or aptitude tests often fail to measure real-life problem solving

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Problem Representation Situated Cognition: The Importance of Context real-life cognition more complex than traditional cognitive approach information-rich environments social information ecological validity transfer failure
Problem-Solving Strategies

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Problem-Solving Strategies Algorithms guarantee a solution to a problem sometimes inefficient exhaustive search: try all possible solution usually problem-specific Heuristics general rules ignore some alternatives do not guarantee a solution to a problem
Common Heuristics Analogy Hill climbing Means-end analysis Sub-goals (sub-problems)

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35 Analogy Approach Can help to restructure a problem In a small village, there were 32 bachelors and 32 unmarried women. The matchmaker succeeded in arranging 32 satisfactory marriages. Then one drunken night, two bachelors, in a test of strength, killed each other. Can the matchmaker come up with 31 heterosexual marriages among the 62 survivors?
Analogy Approach The Structure of the Analogy Approach determining the real problem problem isomorphs surface features structural features failure to see analogies

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Gick & Holyoak, 1980 A general wishes to capture a fortress located in the center of a country. There are many roads radiating outward from the fortress. All have been mined so that while small groups of men can pass over the roads safely, a large force will detonate the mines. A full- scale direct attack is therefore impossible The general’s solution is to divide his army into small groups, send each group to the head of a different road, and have the groups converge simultaneously on the fortress
Tumor Problem Gick & Holyoak, 1980 Duncker’s radiation problem: A person has an inoperable stomach tumor. Rays which could destroy the tumor would also destroy the healthy tissue that surrounds it. By what procedure can one free him of the tumor using these rays? Solution  use several weak beams that converge on tumor The general/fortress story is a problem isomorph for the tumor problem.

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39 This is Actually How it is Done!
Analogy Approach Gick & Holyoak’s Results without hint 1 0% of subjects solve problem Analogy conditions: read “military attack” story first no hint about analogy 30% correct with hint to use military analogy 80% correct Conclusions

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Analogy Approach Factors encouraging appropriate use of analogies hints on comparing problems can reveal structural similarities trying several structurally similar problems before the target problem training to sort problems into categories
42 Analogy Approach Can you induce subjects to create a “problem schema”?

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• Spring '08
• Quintanna
• Gick, Analogy Approach

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