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Chapter 12

PSY270 Chapter 12.doc

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Christine Burton

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Chapter 12 Problem SolvingWhat is a ProblemProblem there is an obstacle between a present state and a goal and is not immediately obvious how to get around the obstacle1Welldefined problems usually have a correct answer and certain procedures when applied correctly will lead to a solution2Illdefined problems occur frequently in everyday life dont necessarily have one correct answer and the path to their solution is often unclearThe Gestalt Approach Problem Solving as Representation and RestructuringGestalt psychologists were interested in perception learning problem solving attitudes beliefsoHow people represent a problem in their mindoHow solving a problem involves a reorganization or restructuring of this representationRepresenting a problem in the MindSuccess in solving a problem is influenced by how it is represented in the persons mindSolutions can be obtained by first perceiving the object and then representing it in a different wayRestructuring process of changing the problems representationRestructuring and InsightInsight the sudden realization of a problems solutionoInvolves suddenly discovering a crucial element that leads to the solutionSome people often experience problem solving as an Aha experienceParticipants working on an insight problem should not be very good at predicting how near they are to a solution as opposed to noninsight problemsoNoninsight problemsalgebra problemsObstacles to Problem SolvingFixation peoples tendency to focus on a specific characteristic of the problem that keeps them from arriving at a solutionoProblemfocusing on familiar uses of an objectoFunctional fixedness restricting the use of an object to its familiar functionsDunckers candle problem participants with materials and an empty boxtwice as likely to solve the problem than participants with materials in the boxTwostring problem tying two strings on a ceiling that are far away from each otheroHad to use pliers as weight to act as a pendulumMental set a preconceived notion about how to approach a problemdetermined by a persons experience or what has worked in the pastoCan arise out of the situation created as a person solves a problem
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