Types of Problem solving

Source:  Types of Problem solving    Tag:  radiation examples
There are two types of transfer, positive and negative.

  1. Positive: This is when performance is improved based on previous experience
  2. Negative: This is when performance is impaired due to previous experience


I somorphs and Homomorphs.
These describe the type of task that might be carried out.
  1. Isomorph: this describes tasks with identical underlying states or problem spaces, but no superficial similarities. (They have difference physical details). A Move in one task is functionally identical to a move in another task.
  2. Homomorph: This is when tasks have similar but not identical underlying states or problem spaces. Some of the moves are prohibited in one of the tasks.
Two examples of these tasks are missionaries and cannibals, and the Jealous husbands which is a homomorph of the m & c, as is follows a similar structure but has different rules.



Analogical Problem Solving
This is learning by analogy, when there are similarities between current and previous problems. These similarities have been defined by Chen (2002):
  1. Superficial similarities (eg objects)
  2. Structural Similarities (casual relations)
  3. Procedural Similarities (concrete operations)
Dunker's Radiation Problem (1945)
  • a ray of sufficient strength to destroy a tumour will also destroy healthy tissue.
  • a ray that will not destroy healthy tissue will be too weak to destroy tumour.
  • when given the problem on its own, only 10% people solved it.
Gick and Holyoak (1980;1983)
  • They gave participants a story that was structurally similar. When they were told that it was relevant to the radiation problem, 80% solved the problem.
  • In this example, they were unlikely to make use of analogy because there was no superficial similarity between the story and the problem. (Keane, 1987)