# Slide 1 - California State University_ Dominguez Hills

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```					        Means-end analysis
• Reducing differences between current
state and goal state
– Stop when difference is 0 (no difference)

• Subgoals
– Intermediate goals – not your final goal-state
– Means-end analysis is also considered a way
to break up a problem into pieces (subgoals)
Mate example
• Goal-state = ideal mate
• Subgoal = utilize a dating service
• Establish a further subgoal
– Locate dating services
– Then, next subgoal = sign up or register
analogy
• Borrowing a solution already used to solve
a similar problem
• Example problem
– Patient has a tumor in location that makes it
inoperable
– One possibility is to use a high-powered beam
to destroy the tumor from the outside
– Problem: beam will also damage surrounding
healthy tissue
Similar problem
• Evil king lives in a castle with his army
• Good king wants to destroy the evil king
• Good king amasses a huge army to defeat
the evil king
• Problem: only narrow roads bordered by
natural (immovable) obstacles lead to evil
king’s castle; no single road can hold the
entire good king’s army
Solution to castle problem
• Good king divides the army into smaller
divisions
– Each division goes down a separate road at
the same time
– All divisions meet at the castle simultaneously
to overtake the evil king and his army
Solution to tumor problem
• Divide beam into weaker beams
• Send all weak beams into body
simultaneously but from different angles
• Combined strength of beams at tumor site
will destory tumor
Problems analogous to finding
ideal mate
• Maybe finding perfect job
– Networking, Internships, Improve job skills
• Maybe finding a great car
– Shop around, read reviews, research
• Maybe choosing a major
– Career guidance (seek guidance), model it
after someone in career you like, pick a major
you love
General problem-solving strategies
• i.e., heuristics (backward search, trial-and-
error, means-end analysis, analogy)

• New example problem
– ANAGRAM
– T E S C E L  SELECT
– Algorithm : list every possible combination of
letters
– Takes too long to use algorithm & hard 2 track
Another anagram
• Another example
– Z I M O U G D E N  DOMINGUEZ
– To solve, we use heuristics (strategies)
• E.g., word doesn’t start with a Z
Problem-solving phenomena
• Insight
– Sudden awareness of a solution to a problem
– Experimental demonstration
– Give hard problems; allow people to think
– People report how close they are to the
answer as they solve the problem (1-10)
– Some problems people show no knowledge
(score =1) until suddenly getting answer
Incubation
• Incubation
– Stop solving problem for a while; when you
begin again, you’ve made extra progress
• Unconscious problem-solving
– One theory of incubation  we continue to
work on problem unconscioulsy
• Fresh perspective
– Other theory; taking a break allows a fresh
perspective on the problem
More on incubation
• Extremely difficult and rare to demonstrate
incubation in a laboratory setting
Functional fixedness
• Stuck when solving a problem because
you cannot see a new or alternative way to
use an object or tool
• Refer to page 356
• Duncker’s candle problem

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