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Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Chapter 11: Problem-Solving and Creativity.

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Presentation on theme: "Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Chapter 11: Problem-Solving and Creativity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Chapter 11: Problem-Solving and Creativity

2 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Some Questions of Interest What are some key steps involved in solving problems? What are the differences between problems that have a clear path to a solution versus problems that do not? What are some of the obstacles and aids to problem-solving? How does expertise affect problem-solving? What is creativity, and how can it be fostered?

3 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Problem-Solving Cycle

4 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Problem Representation what information is relevant and what is irrelevant –People pay attention to the wrong information –People need to focus on the right information

5 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Strategy Formation Select a strategy to solve the problem –Analysis: Breaking into subgoals EX: Study for exam subgoals –Read textbook and class notes –Identify most relevant topics –Create study questions and answers on note cards –Learn all concepts on note cards –Test self with note cards –Recycle through learning and testing until mastery is achieved

6 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Strategy Formation Divergent thinking –Generate multiple solutions to problem Convergent thinking –Narrow down to best answer

7 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Organization of Information Organize to aid solution Symbols Matrixes Diagrams MangoPeachSteak Alex x0x Jarod xx0 Henry 0xx Let L = Lucy, S = Sean, 2L=3S, S=10

8 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Types of Problems Well-structured problems –Clear path to the solution Math problems Anagrams

9 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Three hobbits and three orcs come to a river and find a boat that holds two If the orcs ever outnumber the hobbits on either bank, the hobbits will be eaten How do you get them all to the other side?

10 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Strategies to Solve Problems Algorithms –Systematic procedure guaranteed to find a solution Heuristics –Useful rule of thumb based on experience –Efficient but does not guarantee a correct solution

11 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Heuristic: Means-End Analysis Compare your current state with the goal and choose an action to bring you closer to the goal Break a problem down into smaller subgoals –EX: Win at Monopoly –Start by buying properties, continue to buy until you get a set, buy houses, then buy hotels, wait for others to land on spaces, etc. May not work if subgoals cannot be identified

12 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Heuristic: Working Forward Start at initial state and work to goal state –EX: Math problems –(2 + 6)/(4 x 1) = ? –Complete the math inside parenthesis first, then divide the quantities to get to solution

13 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Heuristic: Working Backward Figure out the last step needed to reach your goal, then the next-to-the-last step, and so on –EX: You have lost your keys –Try to remember the last time you used them and work backward Work backward from goal state

14 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Heuristic: Generate and Test Trial-and-error strategy Create possibilities, test them, and discard the ones that are incorrect –EX: Your car will not start –Wait a moment and try again, may be flooded –Check to see if there is gas, if no success –Check to see if the battery is charged… etc. This may not be the most efficient strategy

15 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Tower of Hanoi Move all the discs from the left peg to the right one. Only one disc may be moved at a time. A disc can be placed either on an empty peg or on top of a larger disc. The goal is to move all the discs using the smallest number of moves possible.

16 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Types of Problems Ill-structured problems –Dimensions of problem are not specified or easy to infer Finding an apartment Writing a book

17 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11

18 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Gestaltist View of Insight Sudden rearrangement of elements creates “insight” Apparent sudden solution to a problem some time after the problem has been presented

19 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Insight: A prisoner was attempting escape from a tower. He found in his cell a rope that was almost long enough to permit him to reach the ground safely. He divided the rope in half and tied the two parts together and escaped. Algebra: (3x 2 + 2x = 10)(3x) = ? Participants indicated how close they were to solution every 15 seconds 1 being very cold to 7 being very warm Non-Gestaltist View of Insight

20 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Neuroscience and Insight fMRI studies found –right hippocampus is active during problem- solving –another found spike in right anterior temporal lobe just before insight –neural correlates measured before an individual sees a problem can predict if insight will occur Prior to viewing of a problem, participants who had activation in the frontal lobes would later generate an insightful solution

21 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Obstacles to Problem-Solving Mental set Functional fixedness Stereotypes

22 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Mental Set Seeing a problem in a particular way instead of other plausible ways due to experience or context –May cause you to adopt an ineffective strategy and prevents problem-solving –May make assumptions without realizing it –May find it hard to approach the problem in a new way

23 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 How would you use 3 jars with the indicated capacities to measure out the desired amount of water? ProblemJar AJar BJar CDesired

24 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Functional Fixedness An inability to assign new functions and roles to elements of a problem

25 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Transfer Negative transfer –Solving prior problem makes it more difficult to solve later problem Positive transfer –Solving earlier problem helps to solve later problem

26 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Gick & Holyoak (1980) Results

27 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Incubation Time away from a problem provides new insights or otherwise facilitates the problem-solving process –Release from a problem-solving set, or functional fixedness –Retrieval of new information by changing context –Recovery from fatigue

28 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Neuroscience and Planning during Problem-Solving Frontal lobe active in problem-solving Prefrontal cortex active in planning Greater bilateral prefrontal activation with incorrect than correct responses Both problem-solving and planning ability decline following traumatic brain injury

29 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Intelligence and Problem- Solving Participants who score higher on traditional intelligence tests –take longer to encode the terms of the problem (global planning) –are faster at forming and implementing strategies for the details of the task (local planning)

30 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Expertise Not a general ability Experts have extensive knowledge that is used to organize, represent, and interpret information Thus affecting their abilities to remember, reason, and solve problems

31 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Experts vs. beginners Under what condition did the experts remember more? Chess Experts

32 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Beer Experts?? –Beer experts Two-year beer training program in France –Beer novices No prior training –Tasted a series of 8 different beers

33 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Experts Differ from Novices Better schemas Well-organized knowledge in specific domain Less time to set up problem Select more appropriate strategies Faster at solving problems Are more accurate

34 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Computer “experts”? The Turing test –What questions would you ask?

35 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Creativity Process of creating something that is original and worthwhile

36 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Test of creativity

37 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Improving creativity? What is a product or service that needs to be improved? –select 10 common nouns at random from the dictionary –task is to figure out ways to change and improve the product/service –use the 10 stimulus words to stimulate thinking.

38 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Theories of creativity Psychometric view –Emphasis is on the measure of the product a person creates—creativity test scores The process approach –Nothing innately special about people –Hard work and dedication leads to creativity Personality approach –Way of looking at things –Intrinsic motivation is important

39 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Environment Approach Csikszentmihalyi (1996) –Must examine historical and social context in which product is made –When one achieves balance with context, one achieves flow –Flow is the enjoyment we experience when we are engaged in mental and physical challenges that absorb us

40 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 A Synthesis Examined case studies of creative people Albert Einstein (logical-mathematical) Pablo Picasso (spatial) T.S. Elliot (linguistic) Mohandas Gandhi (interpersonal) Most had strengths in more than one intelligence and weaknesses in others First become a master; then creativity is possible

41 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 What is necessary for creativity? Synthetic ability To see problems using novel perspectives and not be bound by conventional thinking Analytic ability To recognize the importance of ideas and focus energy on those worth pursuing Practical-contextual To be able to convey and sell the importance of the ideas to others

42 Cognitive Psychology, Sixth Edition, Robert J. Sternberg Chapter 11 Neuroscience of Creativity Prefrontal regions are active Brodmann’s area 39 is active


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