# PSYB57H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 14: Telephone Directory, Tabla, Divergent Thinking

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Chapter 14 – Solving Problems 444

- Problem Solving: The process to which you figure out how to reach your goals

General Problem-Solving Methods

Problem-Solving as Search

- Comparing problem-solving to a process of search, like a maze (some are direct and indirect paths

- Initial state: Knowledge and resources you have at outset goal state

- Problem solver has set of operators – tools or actions that can change current state

- Path constraints: Ruling out some option of some solutions, might take form of resource limitation (i.e.

limited time or money) or other limits (i.e. ethical limits)

- After these, there is limited number of intermediate states that one can reach to goal

Problem space – set of all states that can be reached in solving this problem

- How to solve problem?

1. Trace through entire problem space – you will fine the answer but very tedious

2. Maybe depends on what you are planning to do next – evaluate your possibilities

i.e. “Hobbits and Orcs” Problem

- You should narrow your search and consider a subset of options – problem-

solving heuristic

General Problem-Solving Heuristics

- Problem-solving protocols: Hel[s to identify some of problem-solving strategies

- Hill-climbing strategy:

Imagine you are hiking through the woods and trying to figure out which trail leads to mountaintop, you need to

climb upfill to reach the top so whenever you come to a fork in a trail, you select the path that is going upfill

You choose the option that moves in the direction of your goal

Limited because you start by moving away form your goal; only then, from this new position, can problem be

solved – “move backward in order to go forward”

i.e. Hobbits and Orcs problem Tower of Hanoi

- Means-end analysis:

Compare current state and goal state. “What means do I have available to get from here to there?

Show difference b/w right now and where you want to be

Breaking up problem into smaller subproblem – you address the larger problem eventually

- A way t solve a problem by using

the goal as the starting point

Working Backward

Mental Models and Mental

Images

- Helps to translate problem into

concrete terms = mental

image/model

i.e. bookworm problem: people

try an algebraic solution to this

problem, try to start by visualizing the arrangement