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Formal logic is concerned with such issues as validity, truth, inference, argumentation and proof.In a problem-solving context, it can be used to formally represent a problem as a theorem to be proved, and to represent the knowledge needed to solve the problem as the premises to be used in a proof that the problem has a solution.Rehabilitation psychologists studying individuals with frontal lobe injuries have found that deficits in emotional control and reasoning can be remediated with effective rehabilitation and could improve the capacity of injured persons to resolve everyday problems.
The process starts with problem finding and problem shaping, where the problem is discovered and simplified.
The next step is to generate possible solutions and evaluate them.
Well-defined problems allow for more initial planning than ill-defined problems.
Solving problems sometimes involves dealing with pragmatics, the way that context contributes to meaning, and semantics, the interpretation of the problem.
There are two different types of problems, ill-defined and well-defined: different approaches are used for each.
Well-defined problems have specific goals and clear expected solutions, while ill-defined problems do not.Studies conclude people's strategies cohere with their goals and stem from the natural process of comparing oneself with others.The early experimental work of the Gestaltists in Germany placed the beginning of problem solving study (e.g., Karl Duncker in 1935 with his book The psychology of productive thinking The use of simple, novel tasks was due to the clearly defined optimal solutions and short time for solving, which made it possible for the researchers to trace participants' steps in problem-solving process.Mental health professionals study the human problem solving processes using methods such as introspection, behaviorism, simulation, computer modeling, and experiment.Social psychologists look into the person-environment relationship aspect of the problem and independent and interdependent problem-solving methods.However, already in 1958, John Mc Carthy proposed the advice taker, to represent information in formal logic and to derive answers to questions using automated theorem-proving.A important step in this direction was made by Cordell Green in 1969, using a resolution theorem prover for question-answering and for such other applications in artificial intelligence as robot planning.Problem solving consists of using generic or ad hoc methods in an orderly manner to find solutions to problems.Some of the problem-solving techniques developed and used in philosophy, artificial intelligence, computer science, engineering, mathematics, or medicine are related to mental problem-solving techniques studied in psychology.The ability to understand what the goal of the problem is, and what rules could be applied, represents the key to solving the problem.Sometimes the problem requires abstract thinking or coming up with a creative solution.