Advertisement

Human Problem-Solving: Standing on the Shoulders of the Giants

  • Dharmaraj Navaneethakrishnan
Article

Abstract

Human problem-solving is a fundamental yet complex phenomena; it has fascinated and attracted a lot of researchers to understand, and theorize about it. Modeling and simulating human problem-solving played a pivotal role in Herbert Simon’s research program. Herbert Simon (along with Allen Newell and Cliff Shaw) was among the pioneers of artificial intelligence, by interlinking cognitive psychology, economics, philosophy, and computer science through the research work on human problem-solving. His curiosity and work focused not on replicating the brain but to understand and replicate human problem solving techniques (which he often referred to as programs/algorithms). The main aim of this article is to trace the origins and paths that enabled Simon (Newell and Shaw) to further develop his (their) original ideas.

Keywords

Human problem-solving Decision-making Heuristic 

JEL Classification

D91 D83 

References

  1. Bühler, K. (1907). Tatsachen und Probleme zu einer Psychologie der Denkvorgänge. Über Gedanken. Archiv für die gesamte Psychologie 9.Google Scholar
  2. de Groot, A. (1978). Thought and Choice in Chess, (2nd ed.). Mouton: The Hague. Translated from Htt Denken van den Schaker. Amsterdam, Noord-Hollandsche Uitgevers Maatschappij, 1946. Especially Chapter 2, pp. 33–76.Google Scholar
  3. Duncker, K. (1926). A qualitative (experimental and theoretical) study of productive thinking (solving of comprehensible problems). Pedagogical Seminary and Journal of Genetic Psychology, 33, 642–708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Duncker, K. (1935). Zur Psychologie des productive Denkens. Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  5. Duncker, K.. (1945). On problem-solving, Psychological Monographs 58 (Whole No. 270), 5. Translated from Zur Psychologie des produktiven Denkens. Berlin: Julius Springer, 1935 (Trans. by L. S. Lees).Google Scholar
  6. Hoffmann, J., Stock, A., & Deutsch, R. (1996). The Wurzburg School. In J. Hoffmann & A. Sebald (Eds.), Cognitive psychology in Europe: Proceedings of the ninth conference of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology (pp. 147–172). Lengerich: Pabst Science Publishers.Google Scholar
  7. Humphrey, G. (1951). Thinking. Especially Chapter V, The work of Selz, pp. 132–149. London: Wiley.Google Scholar
  8. Köhler, W. (1927). The mentality of apes, transl. from the 2nd German edition by Ella Winter. London: Kegan, Trench and New York: Harcourt, Brace and World. Original was Intelligenzprüfungen an Anthropoiden, Berlin (1917).Google Scholar
  9. Külpe, O. (1912). Vorlesungen über Psychologic. Über die moderne Psychologic des Denkens (2nd ed.). Leipzig: Hirzel.Google Scholar
  10. Mandler, J., & Mandler, G. (1964). Thinking: From association to Gestalt. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  11. Messer, A. (1914). Husserls Phänomenologie in ihrem Verhältnis zur Psychologie. (Zweiter ufsau). Archiv fur die gesamte Philosophie, 32, 52–67.Google Scholar
  12. Newell, A. (1967). Without Benefit of Computer. Book review of Thought and Choice in Chess. Science, 156(3776), 803–804.Google Scholar
  13. Newell, A. (1980). Duncker on thinking: An inquiry into progress in cognition. Unpublished draft manuscript.Google Scholar
  14. Newell, A. (1981). The heuristic of George Polya and its relation to artificial intelligence. Unpublished draft manuscript.Google Scholar
  15. Newell, A., Shaw, J. C., & Simon, H. A. (1958). Elements of a theory of human problem solving. Psychological Review, 65, 151–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Newell, A., & Simon, H. A. (1972). Human Problem Solving. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc.Google Scholar
  17. Selz, O. (1913). Über die Gesetze des geordneten Denkverlaufs (On the laws of the ordered thought process). Stuttgart: Spemann.Google Scholar
  18. Selz, O. (1922). Zur Pyschologie des produktiven Denkens und des Irrtums. Bonn: Cohen.Google Scholar
  19. Selz, O. (1924). Die Gesetze der produktiven und reproduktiven Geistestätigkeit. Bonn: Cohen.Google Scholar
  20. Selz, O. (1927 [1964]) The revision of the fundamental conceptions of the intellectual processes. In J. M. Mandler & G. Mandler (Eds.), Thinking: From association to Gestalt. Translated from Die Umgestaltung der Grundanschauungen vom intellectuellen Geschehen, Kantstudien (Vol. 32, pp. 273–289). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  21. Simon, H. A. (1981). Otto Selz and information-processing psychology. In N. H. Frijda & A. de Groot (Eds.), Otto Selz: His contribution to psychology. The Hague: Mouton Publisher.Google Scholar
  22. Simon, H. A. (1991). Models of my life. New York: Basic Books, Inc. Publishers.Google Scholar
  23. Simon, H. A. (1997). Allen Newell, Biographical memoirs. United States National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved April 1, 2017.Google Scholar
  24. Simon, H. A. (1999). Karl Duncker and cognitive science, from past to future. The Drama of Karl Duncker, 1(2), 1–11.Google Scholar
  25. Smith, B. (1988). Foundations of Gestalt theory. Munich: Philosophia Verlag.Google Scholar
  26. Titchener, E. B. (1921). Brentano and Wundt: Empirical and experimental psychology. The American Journal of Psychology, 32(1), 108–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. von Aster, E. (1908). Die psychologische Beobachtung und experimentelle Untersuchung von Denkvorgängen. Zeitschrift für Psychologie und Physiologie der Sinnesorgane, I: Zeitschriftfür Psychologie, 49, 56–107.Google Scholar
  28. von Ehrenfels, C. (1890). Vierteljahrsschrift für wissenschaftliche Philosophie. Über Gestaltqualitäten, 14, 249–292. (English: On the Qualities of Form, 1890).Google Scholar
  29. Wertheimer, M. (1912). Experimentelle Studien über das Sehen von Bewegung [Experimental studies on motion vision]. Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 61(1), 161–265.Google Scholar
  30. Wertheimer, M. (1945). Productive thinking. New York: Harper.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hubbell India, Burndy Technologies and GBS Pvt. Ltd. Ascendas IT ParkTharamani, ChennaiIndia

Personalised recommendations