Master the Art of Problem-Solving

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What is problem-solving?

The process of achieving a goal by overcoming obstacles

What are the two major domains of problem-solving?

Mathematical and personal problem-solving

What are the common steps in the problem-solving cycle?

Recognizing the problem, defining it, developing a strategy to fix it, organizing knowledge and resources available, monitoring progress, and evaluating the effectiveness of the solution

What is insight in problem-solving?

The sudden aha! solution to a problem, the birth of a new idea to simplify a complex situation

What are some common barriers to problem-solving?

Confirmation bias, mental set, functional fixedness, unnecessary constraints, and irrelevant information

What are some problem-solving strategies?

Trial and error, algorithm, heuristics, and insight

What are some problem-solving methods?

Brainstorming, lateral thinking, and root cause analysis

What is crowdsourcing?

A process of accumulating ideas, thoughts, or information from many independent participants to find the best solution for a given challenge

What is collaborative problem-solving?

A process that can promote critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, social skills, and self-esteem

Study Notes

Approaches to Problem Solving

  • Problem solving is the process of achieving a goal by overcoming obstacles.

  • Problems can be simple or complex, well-defined or ill-defined, formal or socio-emotional.

  • Solutions require sufficient resources and knowledge to attain the goal.

  • Specialized problem-solving techniques and methods exist in various fields such as engineering, business, medicine, mathematics, computer science, philosophy, and social organization.

  • Mental techniques to identify, analyze, and solve problems are studied in psychology and cognitive sciences.

  • Problem-solving has two major domains: mathematical and personal problem-solving.

  • Common steps in the problem-solving cycle include recognizing the problem, defining it, developing a strategy to fix it, organizing knowledge and resources available, monitoring progress, and evaluating the effectiveness of the solution.

  • Insight is the sudden aha! solution to a problem, the birth of a new idea to simplify a complex situation.

  • Common barriers to problem-solving are mental constructs that impede an efficient search for solutions, including confirmation bias, mental set, functional fixedness, unnecessary constraints, and irrelevant information.

  • Problem-solving strategies include trial and error, algorithm, heuristics, and insight.

  • Problem-solving methods include brainstorming, lateral thinking, and root cause analysis.

  • Unnecessary constraints are arbitrary boundaries imposed unconsciously on the task at hand, which foreclose a productive avenue of solution.Understanding Problem Solving: Cognitive Biases and Dreaming

  • Fixation on only one type of solution can occur due to mental set.

  • Mentally invented constraints can impede problem-solving, as demonstrated by the dot problem.

  • Irrelevant information in a problem can make it harder to solve.

  • Problem representation can affect problem-solving, as demonstrated by the Buddhist monk problem.

  • People tend to overlook subtractive changes when solving problems.

  • Problem-solving can occur during dreaming.

  • Researchers in cognitive science have different approaches to studying problem-solving, with North American research focusing on natural knowledge domains and European research focusing on novel, complex problems.

  • Complex problem-solving involves one or more obstacles at a time.

  • Collective problem-solving can be performed by groups and is necessary for solving social and global issues.

  • Collaborative problem-solving can promote critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, social skills, and self-esteem.

  • Crowdsourcing is a process of accumulating ideas, thoughts, or information from many independent participants to find the best solution for a given challenge.

Are you a problem-solving pro or do you struggle to find solutions? Test your knowledge and learn about different approaches to problem-solving with our quiz. From identifying and defining the problem to evaluating the effectiveness of the solution, this quiz covers the common steps in the problem-solving cycle. Plus, you'll discover mental techniques, common barriers, and problem-solving strategies to help you tackle any challenge. Whether you're a student, professional, or just looking to improve your problem-solving skills, this quiz is for you

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