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Ch12 Textbook Notes

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University of Toronto St. George
Christine Burton

CHAPTER 12 PROBLEM SOLVINGWhat Is a Problema problem occurs when there is an obstacle between a present state and a goal and it isnt immediately obvious how to get around the obstaclewelldefined problems usually have a correct answercertain procedures when applied correctly will lead to a solutionilldefined problems dont necessarily have one correct answer and the path to the solution is often unclearThe Gestalt Approach Problem Solving as Representation and Restructuringproblem solving was about 1 how people represent a problem in their mind and 2 how solving a problem involves a reorganization or restructuring of this representationRepresenting a Problem in the Mindthe success in solving a problem is influenced by how it is represented in the mindthe solution to a problem depends on how it is representedKohler 1929 determine the length of x if the radius of the circle has a length rmust perceive the diagonal as the radius of the circle Restructuring and Insight insight the sudden realization of a problems solutionmodern researchers have debated whether insight actually existsMetcalfeWiebe 1987 idea that there should be a basic difference in how participants feel they are progressing toward a solutiongave participants insight and noninsight problems and asked them to make warmth judgments every 15 secondsfor insight problems warmth ratings remain low until just before the problem is solvedfor algebra problems the ratings gradually increased until the problem was solvedGestalt psychologists believed that restructuring was usually involved in solving insight problemsObstacles to Problem Solvingfixation peoples tendency to focus on a specific characteristic of the problem that keeps them from arriving at a solutionfunctional fixedness restricting the use of an object to its familiar functionsDuncker 1945 candle problemyou are given some candles matches in a matchbox and some tackstask is to mount a candle on a corkboard so it will burn without dripping wax on the floorsolution occurs when the person realizes that the matchbox can be used as a support rather than a containerwhen presented with empty boxes were twice as likely to solve the problemMaier 1931 twostring problem
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