I interpreted the problem into convergent thinking, where you must narrow your problem solving as there is generally just one solution. I had to figure out the best solution that would allow me to get all four animals to the other side of the river without them being harmed by the other animals. So the first step was to look at the problem, also known as problem representation, defining the problem, and what the desired outcome would be and figure out how to best come up with that outcome. If you analyze the problem instead of just leaping to a conclusion you will have better success at solving it.
The simulation used was interactive so it was fairly easy to use the strategy of trial and error. Each time I sent an animal over and it was incorrect I wrote it down; this is how I evaluated my progress. I tried sending all three of the animal over first as I was thinking out the end outcomes and writing them all down. I had a pretty clear idea in my head of what it was that I needed to do, I just needed to try it to see if it was going to work. If it didn’t work I would need to think it through some more.
There were obstacles along the way throughout the simulation. If the dog and cat were left alone the dog would eat the cat, if the cat and mouse were left alone the cat would eat the mouse. So at first I tried sending the cat, which seemed to work until I realized I would not be able to send the dog or the mouse next because neither of them could be left alone with the cat. I knew that I couldn’t send the dog first because it would leave the cat and mouse alone, or if I sent the mouse first it would leave the dog and cat alone.
Finally I realized at some point I would have to take an animal across the river and bring it back again. I did not consider this approach until the end of the simulation. It had only occurred to me to take them one at a time. So, I took the cat over first, and then...