I. Define problem
A. Why this step is the most important step.
B. Three pitfalls in defining the problem.
Two reasons we have difficulty with this step:
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:
Why we fail to optimize:
1. Because of the limits of STM, we do poorly at:
Considering all the options
Considering all the pros and cons of each option
To get around the limits of short-term memory, you might just write down all your options as well as their pros and cons.
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.
In addition, you should:
Have some fun by looking at the Mission Statement Generator to see how NOT to solve problems and make decisions. As Dilbert points out, Mission Statements are usually poor definitions of the problem the company is trying to solve. In addition, it's usually not a good idea to choose an alternative at random.
Look at an interesting problem (okay, it's really a puzzle game) researchers have used to study problem-solving.
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