Problem solving in Psychology perspect

8,535 views
8,284 views

Published on

Problem solving in Psychology perspect

Published in: Education, Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
8,535
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
208
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Problem solving in Psychology perspect

  1. 1. 1 Name:D.K.D.Madhubhashini Regno:A/BBA/09/068 Lecturer:Mrs.M.Gunasekara Solving Problems A PROPOSAL TO: CLIENT 3rd Year 1st Semester 2 nd Assignment
  2. 2. 2 Acknowledgement I consider it is a my great privilege thank all those people who helped me to complete this assignment I express my sincere thanks to Main lecturer Mrs.M.Gunasekara and Assistant Lecturer Miss.KokilaSubhashini for giving me this opportunity to commence the project work and guidance do so. At for last not for least like to thank my parents who gave me a great deal of helping hand to make this assignment a success. D.K.D.Madhubhashini
  3. 3. 3 Contents Acknowledgement ....................................................................................................................................1 Introduction...............................................................................................................................................4 Thinking....................................................................................................................................................4 Problem solving .......................................................................................................................................6 Obstacles in problem Solving...................................................................................................................7 Problem Solving and Mental Set ......................................................................................................7 Einstellung ........................................................................................................................................7 Functional Fixedness ........................................................................................................................8 Group thinker....................................................................................................................................8 Irrelevant or Misleading Information................................................................................................8 Problem Cycle...........................................................................................................................................9 Problem solving strategies......................................................................................................................10 Algorithms ......................................................................................................................................10 Heuristics ........................................................................................................................................10 Trial-and-ErrorLearning .................................................................................................................10 Means-ends analysis .......................................................................................................................11 Problem solving by analogy............................................................................................................11 Novice Vs. Expert Problem Solvers .......................................................................................................12 Creativity thinking ..................................................................................................................................13 Stages of Creative Thinking............................................................................................................13 Decision Making.....................................................................................................................................14 References...............................................................................................................................................15 Figure 1-Dunker‟s Candle Problem..........................................................................................................6 Figure 2-Horse and Rider problem ...........................................................................................................6 Figure 3-cheap-necklace problem" is used to study the incubation effect. ..............................................7 Figure 4-Problem Cycle............................................................................................................................9 Figure 5-Thornlike‟s Learning curve......................................................................................................11 Figure 6-Solution to the radiation problem.............................................................................................12 Table 1- Novice Vs. Expert Problem Solvers 12
  4. 4. 4 Introduction Everyone experiences problems from time to time. Some of our problems are big and complicated, while others may be more easily solved.In addition, many of our daily activities involve complex problem solving. For many, solving problem characterizes thinking itself. In problem solving, we are motivated for a goal but have no means of obtaining it. We must break the goal into sub goals and perhaps divide these sub goals further into smaller sub goals, until we reach the level that we have the means to obtain (Anderson,1990) Therefore, when we talk about problem solving we have to talk about the ability of human kind to think and use the information to reach goals as Anderson mentioned. Thinking,which is an activity that we start introducing problem solving from likely most other activities of the organism it is organized. Problem solving however not all is alike. There are problems that can be solved with relatively few mental steps, and there are problems that require extensive "thinking.” There are problems that we have never encountered before, and there are problems we are familiar with. There are problems that have very clear goals, and there are problems where the goals are far from clear. Complex problems, then, can distinguished on any number of meaningful dimensions, and the solution processes, the mentalsteps we engage in when solving a problem, may differ widely for different types of problems. When considerate problem solving in this assignment understands the nature of thinking, describe various stages of problem solving, explain creativity and its role in life, and explain the process of decision making are further discuss in upcoming chapters.. Thinking
  5. 5. 5 Thinking is a complex mental process which involves manipulation of information. Such information iscollected through our senses from the environment, as well as the information which is stored in our memory because of our meeting with many events and situations in the past. The difference between what is thinking and what is not thinking is just our awareness about the particular thinking process. Thinking is a productive process in the sense that it helps us to form a new representation of any object or event by renovating available information. It involves a number of mental activities, such as inferring, abstracting, reasoning, imagining, judging, problem solving, and creative thinking. Such activities take place in our mind and can infer from our behaviors. Thinking is usually originate by a problem and goes through a sequence of steps such as judging, abstracting, inferring, reasoning, imagining, and remembering. These steps are often direct towards solution of the problem. Thinking depends on a variety of mental structures such as concepts and reasoning. Concepts are one of the key elements of thinking. Concepts represent objects, activities, ideas, or living organisms. They also represent properties, abstractions and relations Concepts are mental structures which allow us to organize knowledge in systematic ways. We cannot observe them directly, but we can infer them from behavior. We as human beings have the capacity to abstract the essential characteristics of objects, events or what we perceive.Whenever we encounter a new stimulus, we tend to treat it as a member of a familiar or remembered category and take the same action toward it and give it the same label. Reasoning is also one of the key aspects of thinking. It is a process that involves inference. Reasoning is used in logical thinking and problem solving. It is goal directed, and the conclusions or judgments are drawn from a set of facts. In reasoning, information from the environment and the stored information in the mind are used following certain rules. There are two types of reasoning: deductive and inductive. In deductive reasoning we try to deduce or draw conclusion from a set of initial assertions or premises; whereas in inductive reasoning we start from available evidence to generate a conclusion about the likelihood of something. Most cases ofscientific reasoning are inductive in nature. Scientists and even lay people consider a number of instances and try to determine what general rule covers them all.
  6. 6. 6 Problem solving “higher-order cognitive process that requires the modulation and control of more routine or fundamental skills” (Goldstein & Levin, 1987)Every day we solve a number of problems ranging from simple to complex. Some problems take little time where as some take much time to solve. We look for alternative solutions if do not get the right kind of resources to solve the problem in hand. Before beginning to solve any problem, we must be able to define it in clear and specific terms. As Michael Posner (1973) has point out, key to effective problem solving is often our initial formulation of the problem. After formulating the problem, we must make an inventory of the elements of the problem, the information, and other resources available to us. Often effective problem solving requires that we flexibly interpret the meaning and utility of theseelements.In the case of solving, any type of problem our thinking becomes directed and focused and we try to use all the resources, both internal and external to arrive at the right and appropriate decision. Figure 1-Dunker’s Candle Problem Figure 2-Horse and Rider problem
  7. 7. 7 Obstaclesin problem Solving The limitations most of us experience in evaluating the elements of problem is that we get stuck in “mental ruts”or in psychological term “Mental Set”. Problem Solving and Mental Set In 1949, H.F Harlow showed that rhesus monkey could develop generalized learning set because of repeated exposure to tasks which involved trial and learning suggested the ideology of problem solving mental set. Mental Set means habitual ways of approaching or perceiving a problem.Sometimes we use a particular strategyto solve a problem but we may or may not thrive in our effort to solve the problem. This creates a set to approach future problems that are encountered by a person. These continue even if the problem is different. Nevertheless, of this, we use the same strategy whenever we come across the same problem and again fail to reach the solution. Such phenomenon in problem solving is called mental set. A mental set is a propensity on the part of an individual to respond to a new problem in the same manner that he or she has used earlier to solve a problem. Earlier success with a particular rule produces a kind of mental rigidity, which delays the process of generating new ideas to solve a new problem. A mental set inhibits or affects the quality of our mental activities. However, in solving our real life problems we often rely on past learning and experience with similar or related problems. Einstellung Luchins, in 1942, demonstrated the power of set in human problem solving. It shows how experience can make approaches more rigid. The subjects could solve a familiar types of puzzle very easily, but their previous experience had made them less able to perceive a new solution. Luchins referred to fixed habitof mind as Einstellung,and described how it prevented people from looking at problems clearly. Figure 3-cheap-necklace problem" is used to study the incubation effect.
  8. 8. 8 Functional Fixedness Gluckberg (1962) set research participants a problem which involved using everyday items in familiar ways. With referring to Duncker‟s candle problem Gluckberg found that peoples‟s ability to solve the problem was seriously impeded by their usual functions. This, Gluckberg argued was another form of mental set, which becomes known as Functional Fixedness. Group thinker Janis (1972) analysed a number of American foreign-policy decisions which had been made between 1940 and 1970 and showed that very often decisions had been taken which were unrealistic and sometimes even disastrous when they were put into practice. This has occurred because of groupthink, in which a group considers only a limited number of options, and doesn‟t really look at the wider context of its decisions. Reasons why groupthink occurs is because of the way that people in long-term real life groups like committees or action groups, often comes to assume that everyone in the group think alike. This puts pressure on the group members to conform to what seems to be the majority view, and so people are much likely to disagree openly with one another. Groupthink is a serious problem in decision-making situations, because it can produce such dramatic and serious results. Irrelevant or Misleading Information It is essential to differentiate between information that is relevant to the issue and irrelevant data that can lead to defective solutions when you are trying to solve a problem.
  9. 9. 9 Problem Cycle Figure 4-Problem Cycle  Problem Recognition – Define the problem  Problem Observation – Clarify the current situation  Problem Analysis – Thoroughly analyze all data  Develop Solution – Design a plan of action  Validation Solution – Analyze the results  Sustain Solution – Maintenance  Problem Evaluation – Evaluation and Follow up
  10. 10. 10 Problem solving strategies Several investigators have deliberately forced their thinking programs to be as human as possible. Most prominent among these are Allen Newell and Nobel laureate Herbert Simon, who have programmed computers to play chess, to discover and prove the theorem of symbolic logic, and to cryptograms. Newell and Simon found it useful to distinguish between two major kinds of solution strategies. Algorithms and Heuristics. Algorithms An algorithm is a specific set of instructions for carrying out a procedure or solving a problem, usually with the requirement that the procedure terminate at some point in which all the operations are required to achieve the solutions are specified step by step. Specific algorithms sometimes also go by the name method, procedure, or technique. The process of applying an algorithm to an input to obtain an output is called a computation. This can be so time-consuming hence less feasible. Heuristics A heuristic is a mental shortcut that allows people to solve problems and make judgments quickly and efficiently at the cost of possible error. In contrast, Algorithms that areguaranteed to work but are totally blind to efficiency. These rule-of-thumb strategies shorten decision-making time and allow people to function without constantly stopping to think about the next course of action. While heuristics are helpful in many situations, they can also lead to biases. If the problem is complex enough, even high-speed computers must resort to heuristics (Boden,1977). Heuristics reasoning is very efficiency but is subject to error. We need tounderstand the flows inherent in heuristic reasoning because we solve problems heuristically far more often than algorithmically largely because algorithmic reasoning take more time and effort (Kahneman, Slovic and Tversky, 1982) and we tend to make judgments about the unknown on the assumption that it is similar to what we know (Kahneman and Tversky, 1974). This strategy is known as representativeness heuristics. Trial-and-ErrorLearning Thornlike (1911) undertook a series of studies in anaimal problem solving which could be related to human problem solving strategies as well. One set of experiments involved putting a hungry cat in to a „puzzle box‟ with food outside. And he found that more time cat was placed in the box, the less it would take to escape, and he was able to plot a learning curve which showed this relationship.
  11. 11. 11 Figure 5-Thornlike’s Learning curve Means-ends analysis Here we compare our current state to the goal state in order the most important difference between them eliminate this difference becomes our main goal. We then search for a means or a procedure to achieving this subgoal. If we find such a procedure but discover that something in our current state prevents us from applying it, we introduce a new sub goal of eliminating this obstacle. Many commonsense problem solving involve this strategy. This reduces distance between current state and goal state by working forward and backward, generates, and evaluates goals when obstacle comes. Problem solving by analogy Another suggestion for solving difficult problems is to work by analogy, since many problems are similar to each other. The school counselor who advices teenagers is likely to find that the problem she hears about today reminds her of one she heard about a few months back, and her experience with the first generally helps her in understanding the second. What holds for real world also holds for laboratory. Sometimes new problems are solved by analogy with similar once encountered earlier. With practical life examples, it is clear that analogies can help in finding a solution. The trick is to find the right analogy and see its relevance. In many cases, a problem seems difficult because it is not correctly interpreted. To solve this, it has to be looked in a new way. In effect, this is in the way the problem is represented.
  12. 12. 12 Novice Vs. Expert Problem Solvers Novices and experts approach problems very differently. Broadly speaking, distinctions between their approaches include, Table 1- Novice Vs. Expert Problem Solvers Novices... Experts...  Memorize how to solve specific problems.  Believe that you can solve most problems by memorizing only a few central principles.  Identify problems in terms of surface elements.  Identify problems using principles by which you can solve them.  Believe that most problems are too difficult for them to solve.  Are confident that they can solve problems, work a long time before giving up, and do not believe that this is a waste of time.  Do not think about how they solve problems but instead just plow through them.  Are able and willing to evaluate their own thinking.  Move on to the next problem without considering possible connections between them or the concepts that may inform them.  After solving problems, review why the question was important, asking why the professor gave the assignment. Figure 6-Solution to the radiation problem
  13. 13. 13 Creativity thinking Creativity is the ability to make unique human products and ideas such as symphonies or solutions to social problems that are novel, nonexistent earlier and valued by others. Creativity is the mother of all inventions and discoveries inthe world. Unlike routine solutions to the problems, creative solutions are novel,original, and unique, that others have not thought of before. The creative solutionsor productions are sudden or spontaneous and are the outcome of a lot of work andpreparation already done consciously and unconsciously. The sudden appearance ofnew ideas is calledinsight. The creative thinker can be any more such as an artist,musician, writer, scientist or sports person. Stages of Creative Thinking Graham Wallas, one of the leading psychologists of early twentieth century stated that there are five stages of creative thinking. Theseare Preparation, incubation, illumination, evaluation, and revision. We briefly discussthese five steps of creative thinking in the subsequent section. 1. Preparation: This is the first stage in which the thinker expressesthe problem and collects facts and materials needed for the solution. He/she finds that theproblem cannot be solved after days, weeks, or months of concentrated effort. Unable to solve the problem the thinker purposely or involuntarily turns away from the problem, initiating incubation. At this stage of problemsolving, it is vital to overcome negative consequences of mental set andany kind of mental set or bias. 2. Incubation: This is a stage of no solution and involves a number of emotional and cognitive difficulties. However, the negative effects of mental set, functionalfixedness, and other ideas that interfere with the solution tend to fade. Possibly,exhaustion and too much of concern with the problem also mount up during this period. Further, the unconscious thought processes involved in creative thinking are at work during this stage. 3. Illumination: In this stage, a possible solution to the problem seems to be realized as if from nowhere. It is about having the insight about the possible solution. Illumination occurs with its “aha” experience when a sudden idea or solution appears into consciousness. 4. Evaluation: In this stage the obtained solution is confirmed or tested to see if it works. Recurrently, the insight may turn out to be disappointing, and may need some modification in the strategy of approaching the problem.
  14. 14. 14 5. Revision: Revision is compulsory in the case a solution which is not satisfactory. It has established that creative people are generally talented (artists, musicians, mathematicians) and have specific abilities. Creative people have been initiate to have some specific personality characteristics such as they are independent in their judgments, self-confident, dominant, impulsive, prefer complexity like wise Guildford (1950,1967) has used the concept of convergent and divergent thinking to evaluate creative ability. Convergent thinking is logical, factual, conventional, and focused on a problem until solution is founded. When you ase asked to solve algebra problem Convergent thinking is what been used.Divergent thinking is loosely organized, only partially directed and unconventional. Unlikeconvergent thinking, divergent thinking produces answers that must be evaluates subjectively. Divergent thinkers, in other words more easily break out of mental sets that limit our thinking. In our culture, people who are good divergent thinkers tend to be thought of as creative (Butcher,1968) Decision Making When we are solving problems, we are looking for define answer; a correct solution. But sometimes, goal oriented thinking isn‟t about define answers: it‟s about making decisions.We make decisions in our day-to-day life, such as decisions pertaining to ourpersonal life, social life, education, career etc. When we take a decision which givesus success, where as our faulty decisions do not yield the desired result. Decision-making is also related with another term „judgment‟. Let us discuss these two aspectsof thinking separately. 1. Decision- making is a kind of problem solving in which weselect an appropriate alternative out of a number of alternatives available to us. 2. Judgment is a process of forming opinions, arriving at conclusions, andmaking critical evaluations about objects, events and people on the basis of availableinformation. The process of judgment is often automatic and spontaneous. It doesnot require any prompting. Some judgmental choices are habitual like need for goingfor a morning walk before getting ready. Judgments involve evaluating informationabout the world (objects, events, persons, etc.), while decisions require makingchoices.
  15. 15. 15 References Anderson, J. R. (1980). Cognitive psychology and its implications. New York: W. H. Freeman and Company. Atkinson, L.Rita;Atkinson,C. Richard; Smith,E;Bem,J.Daryl. (1957) Introduction to Psychology.Harcourt Brace College Publishers.11th Edition. Benjamin,B.Lahey. (2004). Psychology: An Introduction. McGrew Hill publishers,8th edition Gleitan,Henry(1981). Psychology. W.W Northon& Company Hayes, N. (1996). Foundation of Psychology. Thomas Nelson & Son‟s Ltd,2nd editon

×