The Five Ordered Steps of Problem-Solving:
Learning Objectives

By now, you should be able to:

  1. List the 5 steps of the problem solving model.

  2. Explain why defining the problem is the most important step in problem solving.

  3. Give at least one example of a "problem" that our society may have incorrectly defined.

  4. Explain three errors that people commonly make in defining a problem.

  5. Describe how expert problem solvers differ from non-expert problem solvers.

  6. Describe the difference between algorithms and heuristics.

  7. Give two reasons why people tend to use heuristics rather than algorithms.

  8. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of using the representativeness heuristic.

  9. Describe the phenomenon of "set."

  10. Explain how functional fixedness is a particular type of set .

  11. Explain why STM's limitations interfere with our ability to generate solutions to problems.

  12. Explain why people "satisfice" rather than optimize.

  13. Tell someone a strategy they could use so that they could optimize.

  14. Explain why knowing the probability of different outcomes is essential to being able to make the best choice among alternatives.

  15. Explain how the availability heuristic may cause us to make poor decisions.

  16. Explain how people can persuade us to do things by taking advantage of framing effects.
  17. See how we can use computers to get around our limited ability to accurately weight information.
  18. Consult a decision-making site (like this one) to get some tips on how to make better decisions.
  19. Use this decision making program to get around some of STM problems that limit decision making.


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