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    Mental Set and the 'River Crossing Problem'

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    Original student question:

    Resources: Ch. 7 (pp. 273-86) in Psychology: An Introduction (12th ed.); Web site: http://corptrain.phoenix.edu/rm_dev/river.html

    ? Review the section in your text on problem-solving. As you review, consider the following question: Do you use a problem-solving process?
    ? Complete the activity at http://corptrain.phoenix.edu/rm_dev/river.html.

    ? Answer the following questions:

    o How did you interpret the problem?
    o What strategy did you use and how did you evaluate your progress?
    o Did you encounter any obstacles while solving the problem?
    o Where you aware of this thought process as you worked through the problem?

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    Solution Preview

    Do you use a problem solving process?

    I'm answering this question as if it's a general one. I believe you're always using a problem solving process when faced with conscious decision making. Problem solving is a type of thinking that occurs whenever an organism faces a situation where the next decision is not clear.

    How did you interpret the problem?

    The main problem is one of changing a mental set: i.e. being able to break out of an expected or straightforward or implicit formulation of the parameters of a problem. The mental set is created out of habit, and sometimes it even reflects an innate cognitive tendency. In problems concerning mental set, the problem solver must approach at least ...

    Solution Summary

    Description of the problem solving process behind the 'river crossing problem'.