Psychology of Problem Solving: Theory and Practice

By Gary A. Davis | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 12

REVIEW AND COMMENT

THE GOAL of this short book was to provide a state-of-the-art overview of research, theory, principles, and procedures of creative problem solving. While approached differently by explanation-minded psychologists, on one hand, and the application-oriented educators and business people on the other, problem solving continues to intrigue thinkers in all of these areas. And indeed it should, for certainly creative flexibility is a state of mind, a philosophy of life allowing one to recognize the blinders of habit and tradition and enjoy the excitement of considering new ideas and creative innovations.

In the opening chapters, we reviewed—perhaps unnecessarily—the critical significance of problem solving and creativity in our individual lives and in the history of civilization. As further groundwork, our definitions of a problem and a solution, and our discussions of problem-solving stages and the negative effects of habit and conformity, led eventually to a taxonomy of problem-solving tasks, based upon the nature of activities elicited by a problem stimulus. All the simplifying definitions and assumptions, and the taxonomy, were intended to call attention to important commonalities (and differences) across a rather astounding variety of problem encounters.

Turning to psychological accounts of human problem

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