4
$\begingroup$

I watched a TedX Talk that called "The Surprising Secret of Solving Problems Quickly" by Collins Key, about 3 problems that most greatly hinder our ability to solve intriguing problems. These 3 problems are Misconception, Assumption, and Expectation.

Misconception, as he explains, is when we misunderstand a certain part of a problem because of how we are used to seeing it or because of how it is presented.

Assumption is when we assume something about part of the solution that we have little reason to assume, but it seems to us as if we do have reason to assume this.

Expectation is when we expect the solution to go in a certain direction, thus stopping us from thinking in other directions.

If you do not understand the exact differences between the three in this context, please watch the Ted Talk.

My question: How can these complications be eliminated? How can we check to make sure we have no misconceptions? How can we block ourselves off from assuming something? And how can we "mindblank" ourselves enough to not expect anything, without entirely blocking off our thinking process?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ For assumptions: the trick is not blocking what you assume; rather the inverse. Most assumptions are implicit. By making them explicit (consciously formulating them) they become more noticeable and open for scrutiny. Enter, rationality and science! $\endgroup$ – Steven Jeuris Jun 15 '18 at 7:41
  • $\begingroup$ You can check out the mindfulness technique $\endgroup$ – Ooker Aug 20 '18 at 5:23
  • $\begingroup$ By putting aside any incursion of judgement into our minds-eye prior to reading, it's possible to face a reading with a clear mind. It is also sometimes termed 'Intellectual Reservation'. Charles M Saunders $\endgroup$ – Charles M Saunders Jun 25 at 18:30
0
$\begingroup$

I seem to have realized/learned part of the answer:

For assumptions: the trick is not blocking what you assume; rather the inverse. Most assumptions are implicit. By making them explicit (consciously formulating them) they become more noticeable and open for scrutiny. Enter, rationality and science!

In other words, when solving a problem, you should realize and highlight any assumptions you might have, and then ridicule them (point out to yourself why or why not they hold).

Expectations: this is slightly more challenging (and more vague), but similarly to assumptions, you should analyze which direction you expect the solution to go in and formulate a few other possible hypotheses.

Misconceptions: the solution to this I do not fully understand yet, but maybe one should try to fiddle around with the problem and try to present it in a different way. (For example, with the candle problem, you can rearrange the elements. With a math problem, you can rephrase it or shift the expressions.)

$\endgroup$

Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ P.s. to combat preconceived expectations, brainstorming techniques come to mind. Many are designed to open up different avenues of thinking. $\endgroup$ – Steven Jeuris Jun 19 '18 at 11:49
0
$\begingroup$

This might not be an answer you're looking for, but getting 'rid of a problem' as in Turing machines, is impossible due to the undecidable nature of functional equivalence. ie: There is no general way to say if an arbitrary program (Human) would do something or not.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halting_problem

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.