Essay topics: Solving a problem can be broken down into several steps. First, the problem must be identified correctly. Psychologists refer to this step as problem representation. For many problems, figuring out which information is relevant and which is extraneous van be difficult and can interfere with arriving a good solution. Clearly before problem can be solved, it must be obvious what the problem is; however, this is not as easy as it might seem. One obstacle to efficient problem representation is functional fixedness, that is, allowing preconceived notions and even prejudices to color the facts. Most people tend to see objects and events in certain fixed ways, and by being inflexible in viewing the problem, they may be unable to notice the tools for the solution. Once the problem is identified accurately, however, the second step consist of considering the alternatives for solution. A common way to evaluate alternatives is to write them down and then make a list of advantages and disadvantages for each solution. Here again, people may be limited by prior experiences. Often people adopt metal sets that lead them to the same problem-solving strategies that were successful for problems in the pasts. Although that can be helpful most of the time, sometimes a new situation reqire a different strategy. In that case, the mental set must be abundant, and new alternatives must be explored. This can be difficult adjustment for some people. After the alternatives have been compared, a strategy must be selected from among them. One way to avoid becoming mired in the options is to try the best option with view to abandoning it for another if the results are unfavorable. This attitude allows many people to move on expeditiously to the next step-action. The strategy selected must be implemented and tested. If it solves the problem, no further action is necessary, but if not, then an unsuccessful solution may acctuly lead to a more successful option. If the solution is still not apparent, then the cycle begind again, stating with problem identification. By continuing to review the problem and repeat the problem-solving steps, the solution can be improved upon and refined.
While the reading passage deals with the steps in solving a problem, the lecture expands on the reading passage by going further into the role of breaks into solving a problem. The lecturer suggests through various examples and explanations, the conducive effect that sleep has on problem-solving in general, and two possible explanations for the efficacy of sleep in success while dealing with a difficult problem.
To begin with, the lecturer exemplifies the discovery made my Kekule during his sleep of the Benzene ring structure. This discovery made during sleep, although quite remarkable, was not easy to explain and opened up doors for questions as to whether the discoveries of such nature were made during complete sleep or in the state of relaxation. These questions are subsequently Resolved, but not completely.
In order to elucidate this phenomenon, the lecturer suggests two explanations. First, she suggests that new information could just be elicited during the sleeping state thereby helping the individual solve a problem. New findings could just appear before someone to propel the study further. She substantiates this explanation using example of Buckminister who happened to observe the multiple set of triangles helping his Geodesy model. Alternatively, this process, according to the lecturer, could simply be an interference that is introduced into the ineffectual pattern of thinking that has led the thinker or the scientist to an intellectual cul-de-sac. This is one of the 'alternatives' suggested in the readings which later lead to action for execution of any problem-solving strategy.
- Solving a problem can be broken down into several steps. First, the problem must be identified correctly. Psychologists refer to this step as problem representation. For many problems, figuring out which information is relevant and which is extraneous van (88)
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