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Flashcards in Chapter 12 Deck (37):

analogical encoding

technique in which people compare two problems that illustrate a principle. This technique is designed to help people discover similar structural features of cases or problems


analogical paradox

people find it difficult to apply analogies in laboratory settings, but routinely use them in real world settings


analogical problem solving

use of analogies as an aid to solving problems. Typically, a solution to one problem, the source problem, is presented that is analogous to the solution to another problem, the target problem


analogical transfer

transferring experience in solving one problem to the solution of another, similar problem



making a comparison in order to show a similarity between two different things


candle problem

a problem, first described by Dunker, in which a person is given a number of objects and is given the task of mounting a candle on a wall so it can burn without dripping wax on the floor. This problem was used to study funtional fixedness


creative cognition

technique developed by Finke to train people to think creatively


divergent thinking

thinking that is open-ended, involving a large number of potential solutions



person who, by devoting a large amount of time to learning about a field and practicing and applying that learning, has become acknowledged as being extremely skilled or knowledgeable in that field



in problem solving, people's tendency to focus on a specific characteristic of the problem that keeps them from arriving at a solution


functional fixedness

an effect that occurs when the ideas of a person has about an object's function inhibit the person's ability to use the object for a different function


goal state

in problem solving, the condition that occurs when a problem has been solved


group brainstorming

when people in a problem-solving group are encouraged to express whatever ideas come to mind, without censorship


in vivo problem-solving research

observing people to determine how they solve problems in real-world situations. This technique has been used to study the use of analogy in a number of different settings, including laboratory meetings of a university research group and design brainstorming sessions in an industrial research and development department


initial state

in problem solving, the conditions at the beginning of a problem



sudden realization of a problem's solution


intermediate states

in problem solving, the various conditions that exist along the pathways between the initial and goal states.


Latent inhibition (LI)

mechanism that results in screening out irrelevant stimuli


means?end analysis

a problem-solving strategy that seeks to reduce the difference between the initial and goal states. This is achieved by created subgoals, intermediate states that are closer to the goal


mental set

preconceived notion about how to approach a problem based on a person's experience or what has worked in the past


mutilated checkerboard problem

a problem that has been used to study how the statement of a problem influences a person's ability to reach a solution



in problem solving, permissible moves that can be made toward a problem's solution


preinventive forms

objects created in Finke's "creative cognition" experiment that precede the creation of a finished creative product



situation in which there is an obstacle between a present state and a goal state and it is not immediately obvious how to get around the obstacle


problem space

initial state, goal state, and all the possible intermediate states for a particular problem


radiation problem

problem posed by Duncker that involves finding a way to destroy a tumor by radiation without damaging other organs in the body. This problem has been widely used to study the role of analogy in problem solving



probess of changing a problem's representation. According to the Gestalt psychologists, restructuring is the key mechanism of problem solving


Savant syndrome

occurs in people with autism or other mental disorders who can achieve extraordinary feats of memory or may have great artistic talent or mathematical ability


source problem

problem or story that is analogous to the target problem and which therefore provides information that can lead to a solution to the target problem


structural features (problem solving)

underlying principle that governs the solution to a problem - for example, in the radiation problem, needing high intensity to fix something surrounded by material that could be damaged by high intensity



in the means?end analysis approach to problem solving, intermediate states that move the process of solution closer to the goal


surface features

specific elements that make up a problem. For example, in the radiation problem, the rays and the tumor are surface features


target problem

a problem to be solved. In analogical problem solving, solution of this problem can become easier when the problem-solver is exposed to an analogous source problem or story


think-aloud protocol

a procedure in which subjects are asked to say out loud what they are thinking while doing a problem. This procedure is used to help determine people's thought processes as they are solving a problem


tower of Hanoi problem

problem involving moving discs from one set of pegs to another. It has been used to illustrate the process involved in means?end analysis


two-string problem

problem first described by Maier in which a person is given the task of attaching two strings together that are too far apart to be reached at the same time. This task was devised to illustrate the operation of functional fixedness


water jug problem

a problem, first described by Luchins, that illustrates how mental set can influence the strategies that people use to solve a problem