I. Define problem
A. Why this step is the most important step.
B. Three pitfalls in defining the problem.
1. Defining the problem too narrowly
Ways to avoid defining the problem too narrowly
A longer look at reframing the problem
2. Finding the source of the problem
Two reasons we have difficulty with this step:
a. Not taking responsibility for our role ("Look at what you made me do!")
b. In our chaotic, complex world, Isolating the cause of an effect is difficult
3. We may think we have one type of problem when we really have another
Example: What is the order of these numbers? 8,5, 4, 9, 1, 6, 7, 10, 3, 2?
II. Generate solutions
A. Using existing solutions:
1. Algorithms: a problem-solving strategy that--if all the steps are followed--is guaranteed to eventually lead to a solution.
Two problems with algorithms:
1. They involve many steps
2. They only fit problems where there is one right answer. Thus, there are algorithms for solving some math problems and playing certain simple games, but not for problems with human relationships.
2. Heuristics: a general rule that guides problem-solving, but does not guarantee a perfect solution. (Click here for a weather-related heuristic.)
One type: The representativeness heuristic:
a general rule used when people decide whether something is a typical case. If the target matches their memory of a typical instance, they will decide that the target is a typical case.
Examples of the representativeness heuristic:
B. Barriers to generating new solutions
1. Set:a rigidity in problem-solving due to wanting to continue to do things the old way.
Functional fixedness: a form of set where we consider only the usual function of an object and overlook other possible uses.
2. STM's limits
III. Evaluate alternatives
Why we "satisfice" (choose the first satisfactory option)
rather than "optimize" (choose the best [optimum] option)
What it takes to optimize:
1. Consider all the optionsTable illustrating complexity of making an optimal choice: An oversimplified example of choosing among apartments. Note that there are probably more than 3 places that you could consider and that you probably care about more than price, proximity to campus, and landlord. For example, you probably care about how quiet it is, how safe it is, how big it is, and how nice it is. However, even this oversimplified example shows you how complicated optimizing is.
2. Consider all the pros and cons of all the options
3. Correctly weight all those pros and cons
4. Combine all the information about the pros and cons of all the options to arrive at the best (optimal) choice
Options Price Score on Price Price's Importance Location Location's Score Location's Importance Landlord's Reputation Landlord's Score Landlord's Importance Total score 1 500/month 3 4 2 miles from campus 2 2 Excellent 5 4 36 (3 * 4) + (2 * 2) + (5 * 4) 2 400/month 4 4 5 miles from campus 1 2 Average 3 4 30 (4 * 4) + (1 * 2) + (3 * 4) 3 700/month 1 4 next to campus 5 2 Poor 1 4 18 (1 * 4) + (5 * 2) + (1 * 4)
Why we fail to optimize (besides the fact that optimizing is stressful):
1. Because of the limits of STM, we do poorly at:
Considering all the options
Considering all the pros and cons of each option
Combining all that information
To get around some of the limits of short-term memory, you might just write down all your options as well as their pros and cons.
To get around more of the limits of short-term memory, you could use this decision making program to help you make decisions.
2. Because we rely on the availability heuristic
(which should have been called the accessibility heuristic), we are bad at estimating the frequency of events. That is, we estimate how often something happens based on how easy it is to remember examples of that event occurring. The problem is that some events, even if they don't occur very often, are easy to recall (airplane crashes).
(If you came here from reading about the survey, click here to return )
3. We are vulnerable to framing effects (the way the problem is worded affects the decision that we will make) because we are loss adverse: we hate to think that we might lose something. We like to gain, but we HATE to lose. Insurance companies and bankers love us for this.
FIVE STEPS TO CREATIVITY AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR THE CREATIVE
A. The importance of creativity
B. How can you become more creative?
C. The 5 steps
What are you preparing to do?
Combine old ideas in new ways
How can you prepare yourself?
2. Use techniques to get create new gestalts
#1 Attribute listing
(If you came from the Perception lecture, click here to get back.)
Implications of the need for preparation for the creative personality
#3 The dictionary
When it works
After preparation--not instead of.
Why it works
1. We want to "forget" our old approach to the problem. That is, we want to free ourselves from the old set.
Implications for the creative personality
Step 3. Illumination
Step 4. Evaluation at the proper time
Importance of Evaluation
Importance of evaluating at the proper time
1. Delayed evaluation may allow you to explore and develop an idea that may be closer to a good idea than you initially think.
2. Delayed evaluation is the key to brainstorming.
Implications for the creative personality:
Step 5. Revision
Why people don't know about revision
Implications of the need for revision for the creative personality