Odisha State Board CHSE Odisha Class 11 Psychology Solutions Unit 4 Process of Thinking Long Answer Questions Part 1.
CHSE Odisha 11th Class Psychology Unit 4 Process of Thinking Long Answer Questions Part-1
Long Questions With Answers
Define the meaning and definition of thinking.
Thinking is a very often used psychological term in our daily life. The importance of thinking is evident not only for the wide use of the term but also because thinking helps in the solution of all our day-to-day problems. Thinking is the most complex of all psychological processes and it is thinking that normally differentiates man from lower animals.
The reasoning is different from mere thinking of something, as it involves a sequence of symbolic activities. Reasoning also differs from the free association of ideas as in reasoning recall and the sequence of associations is more or less controlled. Thinking helps in solving a problem, and in fulfilling a need or motivation.
Ruch (1970) observed that thinking is always directed toward preparation for action towards producing new meanings, towards producing beliefs, and towards attending enjoyment. The graphic and verbal symbols are mentally manipulated in order to solve a problem, plan a building a decorate a drawing room. Thinking is, therefore, called ‘mental trial and error’.
The motor activities are minimum in thinking. Thinking is also called a symbolic process. Earlier we have discussed how thinking has been described in different ways by different psychologists on the basis of its characteristics such as thinking as a mental exploration, symbolic process, cognitive activity, problem-solving, behavior, mental or implicit trial and error, subvocal talking, and so on.
However, Warren has attempted to give a more comprehensive definition of thinking which embraces most of its characteristics. According to him “thinking is an activity concerning in cell. It is symbolic in character initiated by a problem or task which the individual is facing involving some trial and error but under the directing influence of that problem and ultimately leading to a conclusion or solution of the problem.”
Thinking is possible without immediate stimulus, with the help of ideas. An idea or an image stands as a substitute for an object in its absence. This is called a symbol. A symbol is said to be anything that stands for something else. All thinking deals with substitutes for things. That is why thinking is called a symbolic behavior. Hence, symbolic representation, and manipulation are the most important characteristics of thinking.
Define the pre-operational period.
The preoperational period extends from two to seven years. The first part of this stage is also known as the pre-conceptual period. It is characterized by the use of language and symbolic function. These two are built upon the systematic use of representation which begins in the last stage of sensory-motor operation.
Pre-conceptual refers to the beginning of symbolization in thinking. It is the period prior to the use of symbols in thinking or the preparatory stage for the same. Actually, the pre-operational stage extends from the end of the sixth stage of the sensory-motor period i.e., about 18 months to -1 year of age to 6 or 7 years.
The pre-operational period is sub-divided into
- Pre conceptual period roughly lasts for 2-4 years and
- Intuitive 4-7 years.
By the time the child reaches the pre-conceptual period he has mastered some language, constructs symbols, and is engaged in make-believe play like preparing food for mama in small covers of tins and bottles getting their dollars married, giving injections to their dollars, etc. It is the period when the child develops his symbolic function, imagery, and genuine representation.
He starts differentiating between words and images and perceptually absent events. The connection between these two is made by images that intervene in the development of imitation, play, and cognitive representation. Piaget thus states “Towards one half to two years, the symbolic function appears, language, symbolic play (the beginning of fictional invention) deferred imitation i.e., occurring sometime after the original event and that kind of internalized imitation which give rise to mental imagery occurs.
However the child cannot immediately construct such an operation, several years of preparation and organization are still required. In fact, it is much more difficult to reproduce and act correctly in thought than to carry it out on the behavioral level. The child of 2 years, for example, is able to coordinate his movements from place to place (when he walks about the room or in the garden) in a group, as well as his movements when he turns objects around.
But a lengthy period of time will elapse before he will be able to represent them precisely in thought in reproducing, for example, from memory with the help of objects, a plan of the room or garden, or in inverting the positions of objects in thought by turning the pan around.” Another important characteristic of the pre-operational stage is showing a response to a new stimulus considering it as if a previously known stimulus.
For instance, a two-year-old child may use a stick as a candle and try to light it putting it on the candle stand, or taking several matchboxes he may try to construct a two-story building. It is commonly seen that children consider their toys or dolls as brothers, sisters, and playmates and talk with the term, feed them, make them sleep on their laps sing a lorry, etc.
HoweverAnurag the two-year-old grandson of this author while playing with dolls “Anu and Sweta clearly express that they are not real Anu and Sweta. He says, “real Sweta is at Bangalore and real Anime. “These two are false ones.” However, pre-conceptual thinking at this stage is not of a high order compared to older children and adults. The child during the pre-operational stage only possesses preconceptions.
Define the sensory-motor period.
The sensory-motor period is the period that starts before the language development of the child. Piaget distinguished between two major stages in cognitive development i.e., sensory-motor intelligence (0-2 years) and conceptual intelligence (0-to Maturity). During the sensory-motor period, the child’s adaptations and activities do not involve extensive use of symbols or language.
For example, the ability of a 9-month-old baby to search for a missing toy under the bed or to move a blanket towards him to get the toy that is kept on the other end of the blanket is an act of intelligence that does not require any language. In this manner through various sensory-motor acts, the baby solves and adapts to various demands of life.
These acts are considered pre-verbal. The sensory-motor period extends approximately from birth to -2 years of age approximately. It is divided into six phases. Through these six stages, a gradually complex pattern of intellectual behavior develops. The first four stages of the sensory-motor period are generally achieved during the first year.
Reflex – (0 – 1 month):
During this stage, innate and simple reflexes like sucking movements become more prominently seen, for the first month the infant only exercises the reflexes present at birth. This is the only mental organization at this age according to Piaget. Besides sucking (reflex) the nipple put inside the infant’s mouth, other reflexes are crying, grasping, movement of arms, trunks, and head, etc.
All stimuli the infant faces in the environment are reacted through these reflex activities present at birth. These unlearned inborn reflexes constitute the major adaptive behavior of the infant.
Primary Circular Reaction (1-4 months):
This stage extends roughly from the age of one month to 0-4 months after birth. During this period simple activities are characterized by repeated acts. The same activity or reaction like sucking, fingering the bed sheet, and opening and closing of the fists are done repeatedly. These activities the child does without any purpose or intention.
He also appears not to be interested in the effect that his behavior has on the environment around him. His activities lack purpose and he makes simple coordinated movements. Particularly thumb sucking becomes habitual. Thus the primary circular reaction stage involves the coordination of responses and reflexes. There is eye-hand coordination. When he hears something he looks in that direction which is called orienting reflex. He grasps objects and sucks them.
Secondary Circular Reaction (4 to 8 months):
This is the third stage of the sensory-motor period, which extends from four to eight months approximately. In contrast to the second stage in this phase, the child is able to anticipate the consequences of his actions. After about four months of postnatal age, the infant starts making purposeful movements and intentionally repeats responses to achieve some end.
For instance, grasping activities are extended to pulling and shaking, etc. He may kick his legs at a toy to make astringing movements hanging in front of him. The child repeats responses to get some meaningful and interesting results. Most of the movements of the hand-eye and mouth are coordinated. His interest and attention are now shifted to objects outside his body.
Intentionality is the main characteristic of this stage which differentiates it from the second stage of the sensory-motor period. He repeats various activities to produce changes in his environment. He looks for toys and Other objects in which he is interested in places where he has seen them being kept earlier.
For instance, if he is interested in a pen kept on the small table, he may try to reach for it there. In the second stage, the act was repeated for its own sake without any intent or purpose while here the aim is to produce an interesting stimulus effect. Piaget names this act as reproductive assimilation meaning the child tries to reproduce events with an intention.
Now he is more interested in the objective world around him of which he was not aware in the earlier stages. These are all signs of intellectual development. Actions of this stage are called secondary as they are an amalgamation of images previously developed. Reactions are called circular because they are repetitive and self-reinforcing (Philips -1969).
Coordination of Secondary Circular Reactions (7-10 months):
In this stage, there is further development in the child’s mental activity. He starts solving simple problems and shows capability for the same. He uses already-learned responses to achieve a goal. A cigarette packet kept in daddy’s shirt’s front pocket earlier was hidden behind a pillow. Now when he does not sec it in daddy’s, he will try to search for it behind the pillow.
Here he uses his earlier learning of moving the pillow to get an object. The child understands that means are separate from ends and also forms a means-end relationship which is a sign of developed intellectual behavior, in this stage, he uses his learned response as a means to attain the desired goal (getting the toy) and not as an end in itself.
In this stage, he will with all seriousness do the job to achieve something in mind. He will try to overcome all obstacles to get the desired object. Thus his behavior shows greater intentionality. he shows the ability to anticipate. New objects are incorporated into the already existing schemata of the child. He shows lots of interest in different objects and play materials, and examines those in which he is interested.
He learns the shape, and size of the objects thus acquiring constancy of the shape and size of objects. He leams that an object exists in space even if it cannot be seen directly. This is a very important sign of improvement in the cognitive ability of the baby. This type of reaction indicates the rudiments of reasoning and anticipatory behavior.
Tertiary Circular Reactions (11-18 months):
This stage is characterized by active trial and error, experimentation like exploration, variation, and change of behavior. By the age of one year, the child seems to be really interested in new things and demonstrates a great deal of curiosity which indicate his operations at a higher level. He starts forming new schemata to solve new problems.
He will not play with the same toys again and again. In the earlier stages, he was repeatedly playing with the same toys. Now he wants new toys every day to play with and explore. He breaks toys to see what is inside. He would try to open toy cars, telephones, piano, etc, and then again would try to put them in order.
The child tries to experiment through trial and error methods to develop new means of reaching the end. Develops curiosity about different objects around him, and tries to know about them by asking questions like “what is this”, in the case of every object. He tries to solve various simple problems like opening a small pencil box, opening.
What is the period of institutional thought and concrete operative stage?
Period of Intuitive Thought:
This stage lasts for 4 to 7 or 8 years, concepts develop more at his stage. He elaborates his concepts, thoughts, images and more complex representations are constructed. Now he is capable of grouping objects together into classes as per his own perception of similarity. Now he gathers some ideas about class membership and objects included in that particular class.
The child uses quantifiers such as some, all, more little, less, etc when Anurag who is now 26 months old eats a mixture, we put them one by one in his mouth, but he wants to eat more, says give me more or when a full spoon of rice is put inside his mouth, he says “give me less otherwise it will be stuck in my throat and I will have vomiting.”
Here he draws logical conclusions like if you give me more, it will stick inside my throat and I will vomit “If you go away I will cry”. However, in most children, this ability to draw logical conclusions at this stage is very very limited. His understanding is still comprehended objects or situations, from one angle only as discussed earlier.
A child of two years of age very well knows the existence of an object even if it is hidden from him. Even if the moon is not found in the sky in the daytime or during certain periods of the month, he knows that the moon stays in the sky because he asks his mama or grandma to show him the moon in the sky.
Irreversibility is the most important characteristic of the pre-operational stage according to Piaget. Reversibility refers to the ability of the child to main fair equivalence to perceive the object in a stereo-typed manner in spite of the change in the perceptual field. If papa is taller than Mama, then mama is shorter than Papa, and he is unable to accept, understand or conceive.
Thus during the age of 4 to 7 years, he does not develop the concept of invariance. Gradually his language develops and his thought processes become less entered. Conservation refers to the conceptualization that the quantity remains the same in spite of any change in the shape or position of the object.
Conservation of number appears around the age of 6-7 years. The conservation ability of the child can be increased through instruction and using various reinforcement techniques. But Piaget said that conservation comes mainly through experience, manipulation, and exposure, not by teaching the child how to conserve.
No difference is observed in the conservation ability of children of the same age who go to school and who remain at home. This happens for all cultures in the world. Further pre operational children are qualitatively different from sensory-motor children in thought.
Language helps tremendously in mental development at this stage. Piaget is of opinion that language serves three major purposes in mental development.
- It helps in the socialization process.
- The child thinks by using words and signs.
- Action is more internalized and symbolized rather than perceptual motor because of language development. Language facilitates logical thought.
Between the age of 2 to 4 years, the child’s speech is mostly egocentric. He speaks to himself even when no one is present. In all his talk he says “It is mine I have done this, where is my toy, my mama, my papa, my pencil, my rocket, etc? He is not concerned about others. His speech does not mention others. But between 4 to 7 years of age language becomes more communicative.
He talks with others and exchanges ideas. Instead of ‘I’, I mine more and more your, you, he, she, mama, papa, etc. are used in language and speech. Thus their speech becomes more and more socialized between the age of 4-7 years. Socialization starts speedily after language is developed. Through language, the child begins better communication with family members peers, and outsiders.
He is now able to express his thought and images through language. Bernstein’s observations on class differences in children’s language ability indicate that lower-class children perform relatively more poorly than their middle-class counterparts on tasks involving cognitive functioning i.e., thinkings, reasoning, conceptualization, and on standard intelligent tests which depend upon language skills.
This gap between the middle and lower classes becomes more significant with an increase in age. Culture has also a pronounced effect on intellectual development. Culturally deprived and disadvantaged environments produce and maintain progressive retardation in the area of intelligence, cognitive development, and school achievement.
Hers and Shipman (1965) conducted some very important research in America the results of which confirmed Bernstein’s findings. But certain studies show that with concentrated individual training, the effects of early deprivation can be overcome and market gain can be observed in intellectual functioning. (Blank and Soloman, 1968).
Concrete Operation Stage:
The concrete operation stage starts from 7 years and continues up to 11-12 years. Real symbolic activity emerges during this period. Improvement in language ability helps in mediation, concept formation, abstraction, and problem-solving, children at this age instruct and direct themselves through silent talking and covert speech.
During the concrete operation stage when the child reaches 7 years of age, he begins to relate different aspects of a situation to one another and at last arrives at a “notion of conservation”. Piaget calls this principle of invariance. Suppose the child is making different shapes of animals from a particular amount of clay which remains constant, say an elephant or a dog or a horse.
The child now understands that whatever may be the figure or shape the amount of clay remains constant, the figure may vary, but the clay is the same. He could not have had this idea in the earlier period. A five-year-old child believes that.
What is creative thinking and describe the stage and characteristics of creative thinking?
Creative thinking refers to the ability to explore the situation in a novel way to contribute something new to society and mankind. It becomes explosive in the performance of a person. A creative person tries to achieve something new, to produce something original, something unique.
Creative thinkers are great boons to society. Creative thinking is a must for the progress and prosperity of any country. The advancement of science and technology in any country is the outcome of creative thinking. On the whole, creativity is a characteristic of thought and of problem-solving, generally considered to include originality, novelty, and appropriateness.
It is the process of developing original level and yet appropriate responses to a problem. However, unless an original and novel solution is appropriate, it can not be termed creative. An appropriate response is one that is deemed reasonable in terms of the situation.
Stages in Creativity:
Morris Stein (1974) has defined creativity as a process involving three stages:
- hypothesis formation
- hypothesis testing and
- communication of results.
In hypothesis formation, people try to formulate a new response to the problem. However, finding a new response to a problem is not an easy affair. Individuals have to confront situations and try to think in non-stereotyped ways. They have to explore paths that have not been explored before and think in new ways. Creative persons sometimes experience a sudden brilliant illumination.
The creative person may be a scientist, an artist, or an artisan. But new ideas (or hypotheses) have to be tested against reality. At this stage, applying the criterion of appropriateness is crucial. If the result is novel, original, and appropriate, the individual can move towards the third stage i.e., communication of results. Communicating the idea is sometimes straightforward.
Very often, the process requires extensive explanation. Characteristics vary with creative people. Understanding the thought processes of creative individuals may allow psychologists to help others to become creative. Further, identifying the characteristics of creative individuals may allow psychologists and educators to spot these gifted persons early in life and facilitate the development of their creative abilities.
Research works of psychologists reveal that creative people are flexible in their approach to a problem. They do not use preconceived solutions. These people always desire a complex array of thoughts, ideas, and data (Dallas & Gaier, 1970). Moreover, creative people approach problem-solving in unique ways.
Guilford (1967) has defined creative thinking as a form of thought that is divergent. Guilford reveals that divergent thinking is the production of new information from known information or the generation of logical possibilities which serve as the basis of creativity. Emphatically he told that divergent thinking occurs in response to a problem that as yet is not defined.
The divergent mode of thinking is the essence of creative performance. From different studies, it was found that there is no significant difference between normal and creative people so far as brain-wave patterns are concerned. There is no firm evidence that creative people are either more or less intelligent than other people.
The data relating to IQ scores and creativity are inconclusive. Some studies have found a distinction between creativity and intelligence test scores others have shown a positive correlation. Creative people tend to be independent non-conformists, experiencing great tension and strong opposite drives.
Henry Poincare, the great French Mathematician experienced the following stages of creative thinking. These stages have been obtained through questionnaires, interviews, and the introspection of creative thinkers. Though these stages of creative thinking vary from individual to individual and problem to problem, still there are some common stages of creative thinking.
These stages are:
- Inspiration or Illumination
- Verification or Revision.
The first step of creative thinking is preparation. Education prepares an individual for creative work. The training that a doctor, an engineer, and a scientist gets through education, takes them in a new direction and opens new vistas for them. Moreover, formulation of a problem, collection of information, a survey of relevant work in the concerned field, preliminary knowledge of the subject, and trial and error method are all essential for creative thinking. According to Edison, preparation provides much inspiration for creative work. It is the foundation for creative thinking.
This is the second stage of creative thinking. In this stage, there is an almost complete absence of overt activity. Conscious thought about the problem is totally absent. This is said to be a period of no progress. But the thinker is not aware of the progress. Some experts opine that though the creative thinker does not think consciously about his creation, the problem is solved without his awareness. This is how many problems are solved while we are asleep. In this span of time, the ideas which were interfering with the solution to the problem tend to fade.
Inspiration or Illumination:
In a sudden flash, creative ideas come to mind after the period of incubation. If you were unable to solve a mathematical problem yesterday, now all of a sudden the solution comes to your mind abruptly. Very often, new ideas come in the dream, when the person is in the subconscious stage. For creative people, these sudden ideas are very crucial. The period of inspiration is often proceeded by a certain amount of trial and error. Some experts view that trial and error activity does not, anyway, supplement creative thinking. However, inspiration provides a specific direction toward the goal and it makes the person think in that direction.
This is the fourth stage of thinking. Here the thinker tries to find out whether the solution which comes to his mind is correct or not. Very often, the apparent solution proves to be wrong. When the thinker feels that it is wrong, then he goes back to the first stage of creative thinking i.e., the preparatory stage.
It is the individual finds that the solution is correct, then it is accepted. If it is proven wrong, then he thinks that it does not suit the assumption. As a result, he has to start again from the beginning. In certain cases, he may invite some modifications or revisions. Some observations indicate that ‘inspiration’ comes as the last stage of creative thinking instead of ‘verification’. But studies reveal that it becomes necessary to evaluate the process of creative thinking in most cases.
Characteristics of Creative Thinkers:
Generally, creative people are high in intellectual ability, but they are not necessarily in the highest brackets measured by these tests. Many creative people are talented in some special way – in music or in literature. In other words, they have certain specific abilities that they can use in their search for new ideas.
No doubt, many creative thoughts come as sudden insights. But such ‘ flashes’ are more likely after hard thinking about a problem. So in one way, diligence and strong motivation to work at solving problems are characteristics of creative thinkers. Further, creative thinkers have some personality features in common. Evidence from personality tests indicates that these people have the following traits:
- They prefer complexity.
- They are more complex psychodynamically and have greater personal scope.
- They are more independent in their judgments.
- They are more self-assertive and dominant.
- They reject suppression as a mechanism for the control of impulses. (Barron, 1963).
In 1975, Welsh revealed that a personality dimension “origins” is related to creativity. An individual high on this dimension resists conventional approaches which have been determined by others. Such a person is more interested in artistic, literary, and aesthetic matters.
Describe the stages of cognitive development by Piaget.
Piaget is a development theorist who believes that cognitive development occurs gradually phase by phase.
Piaget has divided the entire period of cognitive development into four basic stages.
- The sensory-motor period is 0-2 years approximately.
- Preoperational period 2-7years approximately.
- Concrete operational period 7-12 years approximately
- The formal operational period is 12 years above approximately.
Sensory motor period:
The sensory-motor period is the period that starts before the language development of the child. Piaget distinguished between 2 major stages in cognitive development that is sensory-motor intelligence (0-2 years) and conceptual intelligence (0-10 maturity). During the sensory-motor period, the child’s adaptions and activities don’t involve extensive use of symbols or language.
It is divided into six phases:
Reflex (0-1) month:
During this stage, innate and simple reflexes of live sucking movements become more prominently seen.
Primary circulation reaction (1-4) months:
This stage extends roughly from the age of one month to 0-1 month after birth.
Secondary circular reaction (4 to 8 months):
This is the 3rd. stage of the sensory-motor period who extends from four to eight months approximately.
Coordination of secondary circular reactions (7-10 months):
In this stage, there is further development in the child’s mental activity.
Tertiary circular reactions (11-18 months):
This stage is characterized by active trial and error, experimentation like exploration, variation, and change of behavior.
Internal mental combination (18-24 months):
This is the final and most advanced stage.
The preoperational period extends from two to seven years. The first part of this stage is also known as the pre-conceptual period. It is characterized by the use of language and symbolic function. These two are built upon the systematic use of representation which begins in the last stage of sensory-motor operation.
Pre-conceptual refers to the beginning of symbolization in thinking. It is the period of the use of symbols in thinking or the preparatory stage for the same. Actually, the pre-operational stage extends from the end of the sixth stage of the sensory-motor period which is about 18 months to 1 year of age to 6 or 7 years.
The pre-operational period is subdivided into
- The pre-conceptual period roughly lasts 2-4 years.
- Initiative 4-7 years.
By the time the child reaches the pre-conceptual period he has mastered some language that he uses in his thinking process as a symbolic unit.
Period of intuitive Thought:
This stage lasts for 4 to 7 or 8 years. Concepts develop more at this stage. He elaborates his concepts, thoughts images, and more complex representations are constructed. Now he is capable of grouping objects together into classes as per his own perception of similarity. Now he gathers some ideas about class membership and objects included in that particular class.
The chi Id uses quantifiers such as some, all, more little, less, etc. when Anurag who is now 26 months, old cats mixture we put one by one in his mouth, but he wants to eat more sayS, give me more or when a full spoon of rice is put inside his mouth, he says, “give me less. Otherwise, it will stuck in my throat and I will have to vomit.”
Concrete operation Stage:
The concrete operation stage starts from 7 years and continues up to 11-12 years. Real symbolic activity emerges during this period. Improvement in language ability helps in mediation, concept formation, abstraction, and problem-solving, children at this age instruct and direct them through silent talking and covert speech. During the concrete operation stage when the child reaches 7 years of age, he begins to relate different aspects of a situation to one another and at last arrives at a “notion of conservation” Piaget catches this principle in this stage.
Formal operation stage (11 years and above):
After the age of 11, the child is capable of abstract thinking and reasoning. In the concrete operations stage, he uses logic and reasoning in an elementary way, applying them in the manipulation of concrete objects.
Define thinking as a problem-solving behavior and its steps involved in problem-solving.
The problem means any conflict or difference between one situation and the goal is a problem. T}ie thinking that we do in problem-solving is goal-directed. For solving problems, we use some rules. But two rules are important algorithms and heuristics. An algorithm is a set of rules which if followed correctly will guarantee a solution to a problem.
Thinking is initiated by a problem and ends with a solution. The individual while interacting with the environment needs to solve several problems and fulfill goals and motives. But the satisfaction of various needs and desires is not so easily done. Sometimes using a face barrier to the goal blocks the satisfaction of a motive.
There is no readymade or immediate means to cross the barrier and reach the goal. Thus, the individual is faced with a problem. The problem is how to cross the barrier. For the solution to this problem, the person has to take recourse to some psychological process which helps in removing the obstacle from the way to the goal. This very psychological process is called thinking or problem-solving behavior.
Steps involved in problem-solving
To start thinking the basic requirement is the perception of a problem. The ‘ S ’ or the individual must be interested to solve the problem. He must understand the importance of the problem.
Formulation of a Hypothesis:
The ‘S’ must analyze and review the problem from various angles and standpoints. Certain assumptions are made regarding the final outcome. These assumptions are called hypotheses.
Preparation includes assembling the tools or materials required to solve the problem. New ideas crystalize at this stage.
In this stage, this subject is engaged in finding out the solution. A variety of solutions may come to his mind.
This stage includes checking the hypothesis against the obtained solution.
Testing and Revision of the solution:
Tentative solutions are carefully tested before they are accepted for practical use. All these steps are blended and interwoven in most problem-solving behaviors.
Define strategies in problem-solving and describe the different factors in helping problem-solving.
While trying to solve a problem, the person seeks a strategy or systematic mode of attacking the problem:
Problem-solving as Gap Filling:
Bart left on the basis of his research on the thinking process has concluded that all problem-solving appears to illustrate one or more of B kinds of gap-filling processes.
Structures in problem-solving:
Problem-solving has been regarded as essentially a process of thinking in Structure.
Problem-solving involves trial and error:
When a problem becomes quite difficult for the S to solve only by thinking, the S may be engaged in random. Trial and error, the case of Thorndike’s cat in the puzzle box serves as an example of physical trial and error.
Problem-solving and insight:
In many problem-solving experiments, it has been found the solution to the problem comes suddenly without any observable trial and error.
Problem-solving involves concepts:
By manipulating concepts, problems are solved easily. According to Crovitz, “practice with the method of manipulating, concepts increases the ability to solve problems easily.
Factors in helping problem-solving behavior:
Every person’s thinking takes place in his own unique, background and psychological setup like the attitude, belief, motive, past experience, and mental set of the thinker.
Like learning motivation is one of the most important factors which make problem-solving easy by giving it direction. It directs behavior toward the goal. Tinking is always motivated by some problems.
The positive transfer effect facilitates problem-solving a great deal. Acquisitions of the past in similar situations are generalized in the present situation. This makes it easier to solve the problem.
Milton (1959) conducted a study to compare the responses of men and women to problems appropriate to masculine and feminine roles. Results show the influence of an individual’s personal context on his problem-solving behavior.
The importance of a set as a preparatory adjustment for performing a task has been shown in diverse fields of different psychological experiments. Set because of its facilitatory or inhibitory effect has occupied an outstanding position in the psychology of thinking.
Define psychological or personal motive.
Curiosity is a psychological motive. It is a motivational tendency to act which does not have specific and indefinable goals. Behind any act of exploration, investigation, and research, there is a desire to know any curiosity. Research findings of Dember (1956) and Fowler (1958) revealed that rats preferred novelty, change, and complexity in Y and T mazes. It is not an exclusively human trait.
Animal experiments proved that curiosity behavior is also found in many animals (Buttler, 1954). Curiosity motives for sensory stimulation are also conducive to the motive for exploration. Evidence indicated that the curiosity motive can be unlearned. The need for changing sensory stimulation is closely related to curiosity. It is the basic motive. Exploration and curiosity are just two expressions of it. Very often, we are motivated to master challenges in the environment. This is called “Competence Motivation”.
The need for achievement causes individuals to strive for bigger and better accomplishments. It is a personal need that directs a person to strive constantly for excellence and success. It is a personality variable that appears to differ from one individual to another. Some people are highly achievement-oriented and competence-oriented and others are not so.
Need for Achievement:
It is a personal need that directs a person to strive constantly for excellence and success. This motive has been subjected to intensive study by a group of Harvard psychologists like David Me Cleveland and John Atkinson. They used projective tests to asses achievement motivation. Many studies have been done to find out the relationship between achievement motivation and performance.
Generally, people with a need for achievement seek to accomplish things and improve performance. The results of these studies revealed that people who are high in achievement motivation generally do better on tasks than those who are low. Further studies also revealed that people high in need for achievement are motivated to succeed.
Research works also indicated that the need for achievement is increased by independence, training, and self-dependent attitudes. Me Cleveland has found that the need for achievement is also related positively to the higher economic status of the society. Experts also revealed that both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation are closely related to achievement motivation.
A humanistic approach to motive was developed by Maslow (1954). It is very important for its practical value. His humanistic model is popularly known as the theory of ‘self-actualization’. Maslow’s approach was unique. He attempted to portray a total picture of human behavior.
Maslow tried to explain human motives or needs by arranging them in a hierarchy. His arrangement was made in the order of potency and priority of unsatisfied human needs. The most basic aspects of human motivation are physiological needs and at the highest level, the desire to utilize one’s personal capacities is found.
Here the individual develops his potentialities to the fullest and engages in activities for which he is well-studied.’ This level is called ‘self-actualization’. Maslow’s approach reveals that every category of need has a limited capacity to motivate behavior. Beyond this point of limitation, it is necessary to involve a higher category of need.