Problem Solving Simulation Essay

746 words - 3 pages

Problem Solving Simulation 1

Problem Solving Simulation
Judy Headlee
May 4, 2013
Introduction to Behavioral Science

Problem Solving Simulation 2
How did you interpret the problem?
At first I thought of this problem as being a bit of a mind twister. How was it possible to get three animals across a river when if you leave two alone one will eat the other. I was going to have to figure out the entire angle to this particular problem. I was going to use a convergent thinking method. With this method I knew it was going to have to a single solution.
Working with three animals, one boat, and a river there could only be one solution or that is what I believed. I tried to do what I thought was the correct procedure for getting them across the river safely but I overlooked the fact that one would eat the other. So to interpret the problem correctly I had to rethink the problem. At first I ...view middle of the document...

The strategy I used was a trial and error method. With this method I would try to get the animals across safely without getting one eaten. My progress was slow at first. The first try did not work the cat ate the mouse but the second try I figured out the strategy. I could have used a different approach to solve this particular problem such as the information retrieval but I thought the trial and error approach was better.
Did you encounter any obstacles while solving the problem?
I did encounter obstacles when trying to solve this particular problem. It seemed that while trying to get three animals across the river on the raft while protecting the cat from the dog and the mouse from the cat at the same time seemed almost impossible. I tried to take a logical approach and did not take the time to think through what I truly needed to do with each animal. I believe I was experiencing what is called functional fixedness which is where I was only seeing one solution to the problem. I had to take a step back and look at the problem logically. Once I was able to do this it became easier to solve.
Were you aware of this thought process as you worked through the problem?
I do not believe I was aware of the thought process I was using to solve the problem. I just reacted to the problem and did not bother to think it through. As the saying goes hindsight being what it is if I had sat down and tried to come up with a solution it would have been a bit easier to solve. The problem was not that difficult but when faced with a decision it did seem as if there was a trick to it. I did not realize just how easy the solution was until I took the cat across and then the mouse. When I went to go back the cat ate the mouse so I knew there had to be something I missed. That’s when I sat down and started to use some logic. It did not take long to figure out just what I needed to do to make this problem work. Once I got the cat across the river and then transported the mouse bringing the cat back across and transporting the dog was the only answer I could see. Luckily it was the correct answer.

Problem Solving Simulation 4
Understanding Psychology, Ninth Edition, by Charles G. Morris and Albert A. Maisto. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2010 by Pearson Education, Inc.

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