Tuesday, October 15, 2019

How does the academic study of problem solving and thinking relate to Essay

How does the academic study of problem solving and thinking relate to everyday life - Essay Example Along with maturation, people obtain substantial competence that enables them to solve common problems encountered daily. (Holyoak 1995, p. 267) However, Anderson (1993, p. 39) explains, not everything requiring solution, like routine activities, is indeed problems. For example, summing-up a three-month electric bill, though requires solution is not a problem because one simply has to compute it either manually or electronically, but how to pay the bill with practically nothing left in one’s pocket is surely a problem. The difference here lies on the immediate availability of achieving the task. Computing the bill could be easily achieved with the simple knowledge of addition or much easier the use of calculator, but where to find the money to pay the bill not to be cut off power presents a problem, as there is no immediate solution to it. Hence a problem is determined by the gap between the present state and the target goal wherein the means to solve the gap is not immediatel y evident (Schwarz & Skurnik 2003, p. 267). Problem solving begins with problem identification (Rudd 2005, p. 11). Generally defined as the activity by which the goal of eliminating the gap is undertaken without certainty of success (Tallman, Leik, Gray, & Stafford, 1993, cited in Nelson, Brice & Gunby 2010, p.74), problem solving which could be correct or erroneous differs for every individual, because individual experiences and task demands, which problem solving entails, vary (Martinez 1998, p. 605). Similarly, the difficulty of solving problems differs in degree depending on the nature of the problem. Some could be easy; others could be truly hard or could never be solved at all. (Joswiak 2004, p. 19) ‘The relative ease of solving a problem will depend on how successful the solver has been in representing crucial elements of the task environment in his problem space’ (Simon, 1978, p. 276). The more exposed a person to varied task of compelling nature, the greater is the chance of that person to handle problems of similar/related nature. For example, an ex-marine has the greater chance of surviving a physical assault than a language teacher who has yet to experience physical violence. Moreover, problem solving has two aspects: The answer that which solve the problem, and the solution procedure by which way the answer is known (Robertson 2001, p. 6). With a variety of problems that people come across everyday solutions also vary by which Robertson (2001, pp. 6-11) says problems can also be categorised. One, what knowledge does the problem require – would it be â€Å"knowledge-lean† or â€Å"knowledge-rich† problems (p. 7)? For example, household maintenance though complex requires simple management, whereas ensuring national security is far more complicated that it requires expertise. Steif, Lobue, Kara, & Fay (2010, p. 135) suggest that the ability to determine fitted conceptual knowledge in order to solve a problem is cons idered a metacognitive skill. This according to Greeno (1978, p. 62) is learnable. Although, Gagne (1979) clarifies that what can be learned in problem solving are its specific aspects, cited as: "rules of syntax and mathematics," "knowledge about particular objects and events," "specific cognitive strategies" (cited in Mayer 1987, p. 111). Two, what is the nature of the goal? Is it technical, routine, domestic, political,

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