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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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How do you call this: Feeling stuck and passively waiting for a solution

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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1answer
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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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1answer
87 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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1answer
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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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3answers
91 views

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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1answer
89 views

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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3answers
317 views

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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167 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 studies are there about looking up answers for non-credit assignments?

Are there any (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 ...
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1answer
60 views

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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2answers
209 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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152 views

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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2answers
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Is there a term that describes the behaviour of a person which transfers personal problems to other people and tries to solve them there?

I think my question is a little tricky to express, but I observed this kind of behaviour pattern many times and want to know if it's coined in cognitive sciences. To give an example, think about an ...
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1answer
125 views

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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1answer
1k views

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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1answer
4k views

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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1answer
38 views

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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1answer
130 views

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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0answers
130 views

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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1answer
62 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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2answers
486 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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1answer
131 views

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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2answers
111 views

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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2answers
167 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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2answers
209 views

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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2answers
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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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1answer
607 views

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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1answer
118 views

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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1answer
372 views

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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2answers
864 views

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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2answers
11k 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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4answers
18k views

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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2answers
108 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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1answer
466 views

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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1answer
114 views

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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1answer
112 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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2answers
1k views

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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1answer
193 views

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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1answer
138 views

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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1answer
132 views

Need good example of two domains involving different procedural knowledge yet sharing same high-level strategies

Working in the domain of intelligent tutoring systems, I have to prove (or disprove) that explicit teaching of high-level strategies will allow students to use learned strategies across different ...
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3answers
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How are autistic savants able to perform certain mathematical computations so quickly?

How do autistic savants (or other people with these abilities) compute equations like $81^{100}$ in 2.5 minutes? Which algorithms do they use? Is it an efficient one, or do they just have a lot of ...
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1answer
249 views

What constructs help explain limited cognitive processing and the cognitive effects of rules that limit decision making choices?

Supposed that I'm a married man, and my wife asks me to pick out a paint color for our new house. It's not terribly mentally taxing. However, my wife starts to add rules. The color can't be too bright,...
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3answers
6k views

Why have historically most inventors been men?

I noticed something strange when I looked at about.com's list of famous historical inventors. You can see that most of the inventors are men, and only a few are women. Can this be explained by ...
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1answer
187 views

Can one incubate on a specific idea in one's sleep?

In this question it is described that intentionally not thinking about a problem can allow the subsonscious to find an answer to the problem; this is known as incubation. I have heard and read it a ...
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2answers
1k views

What are the characteristics that make complex problem solving complex?

In real-world problem-solving tasks that many people call "complex" (like flying a jet, programming, fixing a car, fighting a fire - the type investigated by the naturalistic decision making community)...
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Is there a term for individuals who can “visualize” numbers and advanced mathematics?

I recently saw an episode of 60 Minutes about Jacob Barnett, a 13 year old boy who is currently attending advanced physics classes at a local university and was portrayed by the show as being a child ...
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2answers
690 views

Performance of a group solving a cognitive task: How does it scale?

Some intellectual, cognitive and perceptual tasks can be solved collaboratively. It is common knowledge that group performance is better than that of each single individual due to exchange of ...
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6answers
10k views

How is it that taking a break from a problem sometimes allows you to figure out the answer?

As a computer programmer, I have noticed an interesting phenomenon: If I am stuck on a particular problem in my work, often if I stop thinking about the problem and do something else, the answer will ...