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Problem Solving & CreativityPowerPoint Presentation

Problem Solving & Creativity

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Presentation Transcript

Overview

- Representing problems
- Strategies for solving problems
- Expertise and problem solving
- Impediments to solving problems
- Creativity

Claudia J. Stanny

What is a Problem?

- Discrepancy between the current situation and a desired situation
- Initial state
- Goal State
- Obstacles that make transition between states difficult

- Problem solving entails:
- Accurately representing the problem
- Discovering procedures to eliminate obstacles

Claudia J. Stanny

Types of Problems

- Well-defined problems
- Can identify or describe a “correct” solution
- May be established algorithms for arriving at a solution

- Ill-defined problems
- A single “correct” solution may not be known
- Difficult to evaluate the quality of multiple potential solutions
- Procedures for solving the problem may be unknown

Claudia J. Stanny

Representing Problems

- Different problems must be represented differently to achieve a solution
- Need to discover and use the most appropriate method for representing problems of a given type
- Symbols
- Matrices
- Diagrams
- Visual images

Claudia J. Stanny

Probability Tree Diagram

Claudia J. Stanny

Problem-Solving Strategies

- Algorithms
- Heuristics
- Mean-ends analysis
- Hill-climbing heuristic

- Analogies

Claudia J. Stanny

Mean-Ends Analysis

- General Problem Solver (Newell & Simon)
- Problem space
- Beginning/Current state
- Goal state
- Operations available to modify the current state

- Problems are defined as a difference between the current state and the goal state
- Solution may require setting sub-goals
- Select operations that reduce the difference between the current state and the goal state

Claudia J. Stanny

Hill-Climbing Heuristic

- At each choice point, select the operation or procedure that moves you closer to the goal state
- Problem:
Sometimes the solution requires temporarily moving away from the goal state

Claudia J. Stanny

Backward Reasoning

- Reverse the process in means-ends analysis
- Consider the operations needed to make the goal state look more like the current state
- Helps in establishing important subgoals for means-ends analysis
- May help identify important operations that are not obvious when using forward reasoning

Claudia J. Stanny

Reasoning by Analogy

- Use a known system to serve as a model for the current problem
- Basis for the analogy
- Surface features of the problem and the model are similar
- Structural features of the problem and the model are similar
- We discover useful solutions more often when the analogy is based on similar structural features

Claudia J. Stanny

Problem Solving by Experts and Novices

- How details about the problem are perceived
- Memory for details about the problem
- Experts recognize important structural characteristics of problems
- Experts rely more frequently on forward reasoning
- Proceduralization of reasoning strategies

- Differences between experts and novices are domain-specific rather than general

Claudia J. Stanny

Factors that Interfere with Effective Problem Solving

Claudia J. Stanny

Mental Set

- Bias to adopt the strategy, procedure or interpretation that was used with previous problems
- Make assumptions that are not justified and that interfere with solution to the problem
- Functional Fixedness: Focus on typical uses for objects rather than novel uses that will enable solving the problem

Claudia J. Stanny

Luchins Water Jug Problem

- Jar A 20; Jar B 5; Jar C 130 – Need 100
- Jar A 12; Jar B 3; Jar C 108 – Need 90
- Jar A 6; Jar B 1; Jar C 28 – Need 20
- Jar A 6; Jar B 4; Jar C 44 – Need 30
- Jar A 10; Jar B 5; Jar C 30 – Need 15

Claudia J. Stanny

Functional Fixedness

- Failure to recognize multiple uses of objects typically used for other purposes
- Duncker (1945) candle problem
- Identify 10 uses for this object:

Claudia J. Stanny

What is Creativity?

- Creativity is frequently defined in terms of the characteristics of creative products:
- Solutions to problems
- Artistic creations
- Characteristics of creative solutions & ideas
- Novel
- High quality
- Useful
- Appropriate to context

Claudia J. Stanny

Creativity

- Mechanisms for creative thought
- Role of special processes such as incubation
- Ordinary cognitive processes also contribute to creative results
- Directed remembering – conscious retrieval of information under constraints
- Noticing – attention to errors during edits/revisions
- Flexibility – recognizing and categorizing objects in multiple ways

- Thinker is motivated to search extensively for information that meets criteria of novelty
- Evaluate potential solution or new idea
- Will it solve the problem?
- Will it create undesirable outcomes?

Claudia J. Stanny

Measuring Aptitude for Creativity

- Divergent Thinking Approach (Guilford)
- Focus on ability to generate multiple and varied responses to a single prompt

- Investment Theory of Creativity (Sternberg)
- Produce a new idea when no one else is interested (“buy low”)
- When idea becomes popular (“sell high”), move on to a new project
- Focus on characteristics of creative individuals and the environments that support them

Claudia J. Stanny

Remote Associates Test

Assumes creativity requires discovering new relations between concepts.

Find a single word that is related to all three of the following words:

Claudia J. Stanny

Attributes that Promote Creativity

- Characteristics of the individual:
- Intelligence
- Knowledge (expertise in area of creativity)
- Motivation
- Appropriate thinking style
- Appropriate personality

- Characteristics of the environment
- Encouraging environment

Claudia J. Stanny

Factors that Influence Creativity

- Intrinsic motivation
- High intrinsic motivation is associated with higher levels of creativity
- Greater persistence at tasks required to generate multiple solutions and struggle with obstacles

- Extrinsic motivation
- Extrinsic motivational pressures such as formal evaluations & offers of rewards reduce the quality of creative products generated (especially if the reward system limits options)
- Useful for ensuring people meet deadlines

Claudia J. Stanny

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