Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Problem Solving

  • Candace HughesEmail author
  • Jacqueline Estrada
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1477


The problem-solving process can be defined as the ability to take the necessary steps to achieve a certain goal. Often, the steps involved in the problem-solving process are unknown and may need to be completed in a particular order to achieve the goal. Although problems differ in the number of solutions possible, some problems have only one suitable solution whereas others have a variety of acceptable solutions; the problem-solving process requires the individual to choose their actions from an endless number of possible actions.

There are currently two widely accepted problem-solving methods. The first method, algorithms, utilizes an exhaustive list of possibilities to obtain a solution to a particular problem. Although this method ensures that a solution will be achieved, it can become a cumbersome and time-consuming method to problem solving. The second method, heuristic method, is based on a more selective list of possible problem-solving methods including only those...

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References and Readings

  1. Luria, A. R., & Tsvetkova, L. S. (1990). The neuropsychological analysis of problem solving. Orlando: Paul M. Deutsch Press.Google Scholar
  2. Unterrainer, J. M. (2006). Planning and problem solving: From neuropsychology to functional neuroimaging. Journal of Physiology, 99(6), 308–317.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyThe Chicago School of Professional PsychologyChicagoUSA