Questions tagged [problem-solving]

For questions regarding the processes through which humans, animals, or artificial systems reason through a challenge and the means by which they select a solution.

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Name for the ability to accept and react positively to challenges?

I am surveying early-stage entrepreneurs. The phenomenon I really want is their ability to clearly see, accept, and positively act on, difficulties -- maybe with their company, maybe their product, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
62 views

Isn't fluid intelligence necessarily influenced by crystallized intelligence?

In this article, it is said: Conversely, Gf [general fluid intelligence] represents the ability to employ a type of mental operation to independently reason and solve novel problems; it does not ...
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Reference request - Papers on autocommunication as a technique for problem solving

I'm an aspiring engineer. I stumbled upon autocommunication as a way to visualize and think about a problem in depth. Wikipedia defines autocommunication as: Autocommunication is a term used in ...
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Given a limited amount of time and an unlimited access to resources. Do the majority of people tend to solve a problem the "quick and dirty" way? [duplicate]

In my field of work (Manufacturing), I've noticed this behavior quite often. It doesn't matter how much resources they have, if they are under pressure, most people will try to solve a specific ...
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Do solutions for complicated problems ripe during long breaks? [duplicate]

I often solve complicated problems by thinking about the problem for maybe 15 minutes, then taking a break for one or two hours, and then think for another 15 minutes. This often leads to much better ...
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When learning a subject by working on a problem set, what is the optimal amount of time to spend on a problem?

In STEM courses, students solve problems in problem sets, as a way to learn through practice. Answers are often provided for some problems (e.g., the odd numbered problems in a textbook) and not for ...
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1 vote
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Problem solving and memory size, conscious vs subconscious [duplicate]

First time asking here so I don't know the ethos yet of how liberal or strick this site is on the particulars. In spending my day programming in Prolog I often hit a wall sometimes and stop coding on ...
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Cognitive bias with trial and error problem solving

I found through self-observation that while solving some problem I am more inclined sometimes to first try and manipulate the variables that require the least amount of effort to manipulate, rather ...
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1 answer
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What is the name of this common anti-pattern

When you work on a project, for instance a program in the computer science field, many people pause or "bypass" work on it to work on a side project, often smaller and often a "helper" project, ...
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Reaching biomimicry solutions through pure reasoning alone

Introduction: I'm somehow fascinated by the Velcro invention story because, as far as I can guess, Velcro would hardly have been invented if someone was looking for an elegant solution of this kind in ...
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Talking about emotional experience

In a book 59 seconds (section "Creating the perfect diary"), Richard Wiseman cited Zech & Rimé (2005) - I had impression that he suggests that according to that study talking about ...
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How do you call this: Feeling stuck and passively waiting for a solution [closed]

Looking for the name of a phenomenon I've seen in many, including myself. When someone is bothered by a situation in their life, will openly complain about it, but won't or can't come up with an ...
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2 votes
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Body temperature increasing when trying to solve difficult problems

[ I am unsure if this is the correct site to ask this question ] I am a HS student, currently studying IT and personally I focus on the field of software (programming) and of course where there is ...
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5 votes
3 answers
506 views

How can we get rid of the problems of misconception, assumption, and expectation?

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 ...
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systems of thinking - how to relearn

According to Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow), we have two types of thinking: ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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Talking about a problem helps (software developing)

I am 42 and doing software developer since 20 years. Since several years I know that talking about a problem helps. If I can't find a an easy solution myself I talk to a team mate or ask at a site ...
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4 votes
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Functional fixedness for defining problems

Initial caveat: I have very little formal education in psychology or other cognitive sciences - just a couple classes in college. I read the guidelines in the site FAQ, but I'll understand if this ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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Relation of confidence and problem solving ability

My personal experiences have shown me multiple times that by only boosting my confidence in my ability to solve a problem, without gaining any additional knowledge, I was able to solve it! My ...
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2 votes
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463 views

Anchoring Heuristic: a type of heuristic or the mechanism of functioning of heuristics?

Heuristic is a mental shortcut that helps us to make decisions and judgments quickly, without spending time analyizing any aspect of reality. There are several different categories of heuristics, ...
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What specific studies are there about looking up answers for non-credit assignments? [closed]

Are there (psychology) studies you've come across that are about how students perform after looking up certain answers--not all answers--for homework that is not graded? (I do not mean students who ...
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Anger and problem solving

Is there any evidence that a little bit of inner anger is healthy when engaging in problem solving? I personally feel this way, but feel that people around me misinterpret my anger as being directed ...
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2 votes
2 answers
229 views

Which part of the brain is not working optimally if an individual is unable to understand scientific concepts and mathematics?

I have often observed that while I can understand concepts related to Finance and Literature very easily I find it extremely difficult to understand scientific topics related to Physics, Maths or ...
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What problem-solving skills are essential for the Allen AI Science Challenge?

Recently, many in cognitive science and machine learning circles are very interested in the 'The Allen AI Science Challenge' that was recently announced. Here is a brief description: The Allen ...
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8 votes
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Term for behaviour of transfering personal problems to other people and trying to solve them there?

I think my question is a little tricky to express, but I have observed this kind of behaviour pattern many times, and would like to know if it is coined in cognitive science. As an example, consider ...
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Is there evidence for cross-cultural differences in problem solving skills?

Does the thought process in our mind for solving a problem or bringing out a solution to a problem depend on culture or language? If so, how can these skills be represented and addressed?
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1 vote
1 answer
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Does thinking out loud negatively affect one's ability to think internally?

I'm a professional programmer, and I also practice math. During both, I constantly talk out loud, even for simple problems. However, when I'm around other people I suppress the talking and I feel like ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Is critical thinking associated with IQ?

I consider myself a person with reasonable intelligence. In my job, I require a lot of critical thinking. I am good at think laterally, but sometimes I feel I missed important critical evaluations of ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What evidence is there for a correlation between being tightly focused on a problem and only using one part of your brain?

I've seen people tightly focused on a problem, in a state of 'flow' and when you break out of it there seems to be a couple of seconds of confusion when they adjust to the circumstances at hand. It is ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Can incubation be facilitated, while, at the same time, being focused on a different problem?

Is it possible to facilitate incubation as well as consciously think about a different problem at the same time, in effect multitasking, in order to gain insights more quickly, without having to stop ...
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3 votes
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How to work on a research problem while sleeping? [duplicate]

Put it more formally, how to let your mind subconsciously work on a research problem when you are not actively thinking about it, e.g., during sleep, dinner, walking, or shower? Often I hear stories ...
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2 votes
1 answer
107 views

What is the modern definition for problem solving?

Apart from Polya's definition of problem solving in 1981, "finding a way out of a difficulty, a way around an obstacle, attaining an aim that was not immediately attainable.", is there a better modern ...
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7 votes
2 answers
781 views

Are there NP-Hard or NP-Complete problems that humans a really good at solving?

It has been noted that humans are good at solving the travelling salesmen problem under certain constraints. Are there other NP-hard or NP-complete problems that human beings are good at solving? Has ...
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Research operationalizing so-called strategic thinking?

Is there contemporary research in trait psychology, which attempts to operationalize the structures behind a strategic thinking style? I'm thinking of a style of problem solving as taught in officer ...
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2 answers
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What do brains do when processing information, that Von Neumann machines cannot (yet?) imitate?

What makes a human processing information so different from a set of instructions in a computer? Solving a problem for any human operating with concepts is still much superior to lots of computer ...
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2 votes
2 answers
281 views

What causes students not to be interested in problem solving?

Sometimes students lack the drive for problem solving. One might say that they are bored. However, is there a scientific account on what causes ignorance of problem solving, when they simply are not ...
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3 votes
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Why do programmers work at night?

I can be described as a morning person, where waking up at 4:20 AM to catch a flight is no problem. My colleague on the other hand go to bed no earlier than midnight and often later than that. We're ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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How to best prepare the mind for a problem identification brainstorm?

I am a manager of a team of software engineers. We often use brainstorming sessions to generate solutions to problems. We use typical cognitive games, e.g. word association, to "warm-up" and ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Why does splitting attention between a primary task and another task appear to improve performance on the primary task?

I've been thinking about my performance at various tasks and where my focus is at during them and something's really got me confused. It makes sense that devoting all my focus to a task while I'm ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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SSRI Medications and Problem solving [closed]

I'm an Electronics Engineer and I work in Software Development. I'm on SSRIs, for years for different conditions, like bipoar, GAD, ..etc. I feel that my problem solving abilities really dropped ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Effect of time limits on problem solving

I recently took part in psychological testing as part of a recruitment process to a job. I was not happy about the evaluation I got and I asked for a feedback discussion with the psychologist. The ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Duration-independent intelligence tests

Being able to measure intelligence (or the problem-solving aspect of it) quantitatively could be indispensable in fields like cognitive science or artificial intelligence. Obviously, IQ tests aren't ...
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7 votes
2 answers
20k views

Why do some people only work well under pressure?

It is common for people to procrastinate. Putting off tasks until the resulting deadlines get closer and there comes a point at which the person will fire into action. (whether this point leaves ...
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9 votes
5 answers
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Is there a psychological condition which promotes literal and overly complicated thinking?

Quote from Sheldon Cooper, Big Bang Theory IMDB Leonard: You convinced me. Maybe tonight we should sneak in and shampoo her carpet. Sheldon: You don't think that crosses the line? Leonard: ...
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4 votes
2 answers
121 views

What causes student errors on a problem involving differentiating a factorial?

Consider the following maths problem, assuming only a high-school level knowledge of calculus: If $f(x) = x!$, find $df/dx$ Almost all of my respondents seemed to switch on their "mental ...
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10 votes
1 answer
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What forms of the travelling salesman problem are difficult for humans to solve?

In the traveling salesman problem (TSP) we are given a set of nodes, where one node is the starting node. The task is to find the shortest tour starting at the start node visiting every node exactly ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How are activities involving toy blocks linked the development of intelligence in children?

I'm looking for a peer reviewed article that links the development of intelligence to any form of block building activities. For example a child playing with wooden blocks can improve their sensory-...
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3 votes
1 answer
120 views

Is actively trying to create insight inducing conditions effective in generating insights?

Kounios and Beeman (2009) show that many insight solutions come when one is in a relaxed state. Furthermore, positive mood helps with insight solutions. But practically speaking, is it wise to try ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Teaching Problem Solving : Mastering bit by bit Vs Try it all by yourself?

Background: I'm a teacher who trains hundreds of high school students in Math, Physics & Chemistry to crack probably toughest competitive exam in India. I deal with the students who are ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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Can we stop the brain from processing a particular task?

Imagine a task of high involvement and great complexity, but one that is not very important, e.g., a strategic computer game. Because of high involvement, the brain continues to process the problem to ...
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10 votes
1 answer
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What research exists in the areas of formulating questions and "problem shaping"?

After recalling Eric Steven Raymond and Rick Moen's How to Ask Questions The Smart Way and a discussion in a systems engineering course regarding the impact of the proper formulation of a problem in ...
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