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Gestalt vs. Information-Processing Theory of Problem Solving

What are the major differences between the Gestalt view of problem solving and the information-processing perspective?

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1. What are the major differences between the Gestalt view of problem solving and the information-processing perspective?

GESTALT APPROACH

Thorndike (1898; see PIP p. 336) carried out some of the earliest research on problem solving using cats. He termed the behavior they displayed when solving problems as trial-and-error learning. (See http://www.psy.pdx.edu/PsiCafe/KeyTheorists/Thorndike.htm for more information on Edward Thorndike).

Reproductive and productive problem solving & Insight

The Gestaltists did not agree with Thorndike's view. They distinguished between:

? Reproductive problem solving, which Thorndike used.
? Productive problem solving-more complex, involving a novel restructuring of the problem.

In other words, Gestalt theory claims that problem solving is productive and reproductive. Reproductive problem solving draws on previous experiences whereas productive problem solving involves insight and restructuring of the problem. Reproductive problem solving could be a hindrance to finding a solution, since a person may fixate on the known aspects of a problem and so be unable to see novel ...

Solution Summary

Through discussion and example, this solution explains the major differences between the Gestalt view of problem solving and the information-processing perspective. References are provided.

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