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PSY270H1 Lecture Notes - Iden, Functional Fixedness, Stereotype Threat

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Christine Burton

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oUsually have a correct answer, certain procedures will lead to a solution
-An ill-defined problem does not have a clear path to its solution and we cannot use a predetermined set of
oDoesnt have one correct answer and the path to their solution is unclear
Well-defined problems
-There are various strategies we can use to get to the one correct answer of a well-defined problem
-Requires convergent thinking – thinking that works toward a solution to a specific problem that usually has
a correct answer
-An algorithm is a series of operations that can be applied repeatedly and will eventually reach the correct
oALBL – algorithm will work by cycling through different combinations
oNMPEISHOONRCE – algorithm will not work
-A heuristic is a general rule that is usually correct
oHeuristics make use of prior knowledge and past experiences about how the world works
ocan use heuristic to find combinations that frequently occur in English
oEGMON – wont work b/c GNOM is not frequent letter combination in English
Problem Solving Heuristics
-Working forward: choose the alternative that appears to lead most directly to the goal
oStart at initial state to the goal useful but short sighted not looking too much ahead
oe.g. I want a car I will get some money I will get a job I will drop out of school etc
-Working backward: start from the goal and move backwards to get to the initial state
oe.g. I want to be a clinical psychologist I need to get my PhD I need to get into grad school I
need to write my GREs etc
-Generate and test: think of all the possible alternatives and try out each one (trial and error)
oDepends on the situation when can be useful
oe.g. make a list of things to eat that start with “c”
Cookie generate words and then cross out the mistakes
oe.g. I want a job
work at a bank
become a teacher but cant use with smth more importat
learn to be a carpenter
-Means-ends analysis: break the problem into subproblems and minimize the distance between the initial
state and the goal state. MOST EFFECTIVE
oa way of solving a problem in which the goal is to reduce the difference between the initial and goal
oSubgoals – small goals that help[ create intermediate states that are closer to the goal. Occasionally,
a subgoal may appear to increase the distance to the goal state but in the long run can result in the
shortest path to the goal.
o I want a job I need to find job postings buy a newspaper
oI need a resume go to resume clinic
Problem Solving by Analogy
-We use the analogy approach to problem solving when we are faced with isomorphic problems
oIsomorphic problems share structural features but often have different surface features(words)
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