Create a model of the problem or a relevant process Creating a model of a problem or relevant process helps us focus on essential elements and gives us the potential to alter the model and see what happens. Even more organisation could be forced by putting all the meat items in alphabetical order, and so on. If you want to predict when a stock will rise, chart its price fluctuations over time and events in the past.
In one experiment, individuals from the Shuar group in Ecuador were asked to use an object for a purpose other than that for which the object was originally intended. If you want to send a human to Mars, send and retrieve information-gathering robots first. But it is important in many other situations too. The spoon was the only object long enough to span the imaginary river, but if the spoon was presented in a way that reflected its normal usage, it took participants longer to choose the spoon to solve the problem. For instance, it is far easier to lose a few kilograms of weight than to lose 50 kilos.
The researchers wanted to know if exposure to highly specialized tools, as occurs with individuals in industrialized nations, affects their ability to transcend functional fixedness.
However, using this problem-solving strategy does allow people to simplify complex problems and reduce the total number of possible solutions to a more manageable set. A harmful level of carbon monoxide gas may flow into a house only if the wind is blowing hard in a certain direction, the heat exhaust pipe is less than a metre above the roof, and the heat is on high. You use the working backwards heuristic to plan the events of your day on a regular basis, probably without even thinking about it. That, in essence, is how software for structural equation modelling proceeds to a solution. Work in a new setting New settings sometimes prompt new types of thinking that can be useful in solving hard problems.
Note though that persistence can become maladaptive if the goal is unrealistic. Use a formula Sometimes, a formula can help solve a problem. In tough moments, we jump to tried-and-tested approaches rather than exploring better and more efficient options. No one likes problems. So, if you want to eliminate bacterial infections that kill women giving birth, compare the care given women who become infected with those don't.
Strategies to help you solve multiple problems Adopt a problem solving orientation People who look for problems to solve have a decided advantage over others.
On the benefit side the wart is very likely to be eliminated. If you want to develop close relations with your supervisor, you may benefit from questioning your assumption that all supervisors are power hungry and self-centred. So, if you want to eliminate bacterial infections that kill women giving birth, compare the care given women who become infected with those don't. Most such efforts will eventually be considered crackpot; some will be called a work of genius.