Problem Solving

Our blogging task laid out in class was to write a blog about 3 of our different personal thinking patterns;

  1. Define your personal bias
  2. Are you a detail person or a big picture
  3. Write about where the above has “interfered” with your problem solving/solution finding.

Sitting here thinking about what bias I have and how it related to the world of problem solving makes me think back to our class. During the class Mark sat a piece of paper down on our desk. On the side that it was placed down there a 3 by 3 block of dots, we weren’t told any instructions. My first instinct like some other people in the class picked the paper up and turned it over. After all we are humans, we explore our new surrounding like we did this piece of paper. On the other side there were 3 by 3 block of dots too. Now my personal bias was to put the piece of paper back to the original side and think about what they meant and where I had seen this before. I believe I did this to get assurance of my surroundings for my Anchoring Bias. I hadn’t had any instructions to do that but I did, you could say I was looking for the big picture. Some other people didn’t have the Anchoring Bias so did not need to touch the piece of paper and wait for instructions.

Continuing on with the dots on the piece of paper, I believe that it is a good example to explain whether I am a detail person or a big picture person. When I was given the paper I instantly turned it over and examined both sides. This was the big picture side of me looking at the situation as a whole. When I found saw dots on the back side as well my thinking changed to we are in a problem solving class and I have seen a problem using dots laid out like this before. Then we were give a problem; try connect all the dots in the 3 by 3 using only 4 straight lines. Because I had done the problem before I knew I wasn’t constrained to the box people sometimes draw around the dots to constrain themselves too. I remember I did this the first time I did the problem initially but it was then I realized that using 4 straight lines that went through the dots and then outside the 3 by 3 cube of dots it was possible. Once I had solved the problem I looked further and found that there were other ways to solve the problem, like with 3 lines. I think that was my big picture going beyond what the question required for a simpler answer. This is where my big picture bias could hamper me. I have gone beyond what the question asked this may not be what the customer wants.

Problem Solving

I think I may have already answered question 3 in the above section. Looking at section 2 I think I am a big picture person most of the times, but sometimes I use the detail thinking way. Although from question 2 I think using my big picture bias interferes with my overall problem solving capability because I can forget the original question.

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