The Gestalt Approach

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The Gestalt approach was about how people represent a problem in their own minds, and how solving a problem involves a reorganization or restructuring of this representation. The first central idea of Gestalt problem solving is how a problem is represented in a person’s mind. This means what do they think about the problem? They would give people a problem and then see how they could figure out how to solve it by restructuring the problem. Then the second idea of Gestalt is insight. Insight is when you have a sudden realization of how the problem should be solved. Gestalt assumed that when people were figuring out problems that when they finally have the answer this is insight. Insight is like that Aha! Moment you get when you finally figured the problem out. They believed that restructuring the problems was directly involved in solving insight problems. One of the major obstacles to solving these problems was fixation. Fixation is when people tend to focus on one specific problem area of the problem that keeps them from seeing the real problem, and being able to solve it. When looking at a problem some people tend to have a preconception of how the problem should be solved. This is called a mental set. The mental set is a preconceived notion about how to approach a problem, which is determined by a person’s experience or what has worked in the past.

The Information- Processing Approach is Newell and Simon’s approach to solving problems. They saw problems in terms of an initial state. An Initial state is the conditions at the beginning of a problem. Then you have the goal state which is the solution of the problem. They used the Tower of Hanoi problem, which is three discs stacked on the left peg and the goal

state as these discs stacked on the right peg. During this problem they introduced the idea of operators which is the actions that take the problem from one state to another. Each step of the problem created and intermediate state. When a problems...
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