A Positive Attitude for Problem Solving Skills
Benefits of a positive attitude.
Introduction: Problem-solving is essential for success in many areas of life, from academics to the workplace. Good problem solvers can break down a problem and gradually analyze it, while poor problem solvers often lack the confidence and experience to do this. A positive attitude towards Problem-solving is essential for success, as it allows individuals to approach problems confidently and believe they can be solved. This article will explore the benefits of a positive attitude in issue-solving, with examples of how it can help.
Optimistic problem solvers strongly believe academic reasoning problems can be solved through careful, persistent analysis. This belief is essential, as it allows individuals to approach problems with confidence and determination rather than giving up before they have even begun. A positive attitude also helps to reduce fear and anxiety when approaching complex problems, as it allows individuals to focus on the issue at hand rather than on their own perceived limitations.
The benefits of a positive attitude in problem-solving are numerous. Firstly, it allows individuals to break down a problem into smaller, more manageable chunks. This makes it easier to analyze the situation, enabling individuals to focus on one part of the problem at a time. It also helps reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed or intimidated by a problem, as it allows individuals to tackle the problem more organized and systematically.
Another benefit of a positive attitude in problem-solving is that it encourages gradual problem analysis. Poor problem solvers often give up when faced with a complex problem, believing they will never be able to solve it. However, a positive attitude allows individuals to take a step back and look at the situation holistically, considering all aspects of the problem and gradually analyzing it. This will enable individuals to understand the problem better and develop a plan of action for solving it.
To illustrate the benefits of a positive attitude in problem-solving, consider the following examples. An individual struggling to solve a mathematical problem may become overwhelmed by the complexity of the problem and give up before they have even begun. However, if they take a step back and break the problem down into smaller parts, they may be able to analyze it and come to a solution gradually. Similarly, an individual struggling to solve a complex business problem may feel overwhelmed by the complexity of the problem and give up. However, if they take a step back and break the problem down into smaller parts, they may be able to analyze it and come to a solution gradually.
Conclusion: In conclusion, having a positive attitude towards problem-solving is essential for success. It allows individuals to approach problems confidently and believe they can be solved. It also allows individuals to break down a problem into smaller parts and gradually analyze it, reducing feeling overwhelmed or intimidated by a crisis. Examples of how a positive attitude can help in problem-solving are provided, illustrating the importance of a positive attitude.
A positive attitude is critical to unlocking problem-solving skills. IIENSTITU
What is the definition of problem solving?
Problem-solving is a critical cognitive process involving identifying and resolving issues or obstacles. It requires the individual to analyze a problem, determine potential solutions, evaluate them, and then implement the most effective solution. Problem-solving can be defined as a cognitive process that allows individuals and groups to identify and address problems, develop potential solutions, and make decisions that lead to successful problem resolution.
The process of problem-solving is often broken down into five stages: defining the problem, generating possible solutions, evaluating the solutions, implementing the chosen solution, consists in and monitoring the outcome.
The first stage involves defining the problem by gathering information about the situation and breaking down the problem into manageable components.
The second stage involves generating possible solutions by brainstorming, researching, and consulting with experts.
The third stage consists in evaluating the answers and selecting the best one.
The fourth stage involves implementing the chosen solution.
The fifth stage involves monitoring the outcome to assess whether the solution was successful.
Problem-solving is a complex process, and the outcome's success depends on the individual's ability to analyze the problem, identify potential solutions, and evaluate the solutions before implementing the best solution. It requires individuals to think critically, use creativity and draw on their knowledge and experience. It also needs individuals to be flexible and open to different approaches and solutions.
Problem-solving is an essential skill that people use in their everyday lives. It is necessary for the successful functioning of society, as it enables individuals and groups to identify and address problems, develop potential solutions, and make decisions that lead to successful problem resolution.
How does having a positive attitude help with problem solving?
A positive attitude when approaching a problem can be a great asset in finding a solution. It is often said that attitude is everything, and this is especially true when it comes to problem-solving. A positive attitude can lead to a more creative approach to problem-solving and increase the likelihood of finding a successful solution.
A positive attitude can help to increase motivation when approaching a problem. This can be a great asset in helping to identify the root cause of the problem and find a solution. In addition, with a positive attitude, an individual is more likely to take on the challenge of solving the problem rather than avoiding it or simply giving up.
Having a positive attitude can also help to promote constructive thinking. That is, thinking that focuses on solutions rather than playing the blame game or worrying about the consequences of failure. A positive attitude can help to keep the focus on finding solutions and staying motivated to work through the problem until a successful outcome is achieved.
In addition, having a positive attitude can help to reduce stress when tackling a problem. This can be invaluable in helping to maintain a clear mind and allow for the type of creative thinking that is often necessary when finding solutions. A positive attitude can help to keep the individual focused on the task at hand and help to prevent a feeling of being overwhelmed by the problem.
Finally, having a positive attitude can help to create a positive environment when approaching a problem. That environment encourages collaboration and brainstorming and promotes the exchange of ideas. This can be key to finding a successful solution.
In conclusion, having a positive attitude when approaching a problem can be a great asset in finding a successful solution. A positive attitude can help to increase motivation, promote constructive thinking, reduce stress, and create a positive environment when approaching a problem.
What are some examples of how a positive attitude can help with problem solving?
A positive attitude when facing a problem can be incredibly beneficial in solving it. Viewing the problem as an opportunity to learn and grow rather than a hurdle that cannot be overcome is essential. With the right attitude, problems can be solved more effectively and quickly.
One way that a positive attitude can help with problem-solving is by increasing motivation and perseverance. People with a positive attitude are likelier to persist in issue-solving and not give up when the going gets tough. With this attitude, it is more likely that a solution will be found.
Another way that a positive attitude can help with problem-solving is by providing greater clarity and focus. People with a positive attitude are more likely to take a step back and look at a situation objectively, allowing them to understand the problem better and develop a plan for solving it. This clarity and focus can also help to prevent distractions from derailing the problem-solving process.
Finally, a positive attitude can help to foster creativity and innovation. People with a positive attitude are more likely to look at a problem from a different perspective, allowing them to come up with creative solutions that would not have been considered otherwise. This creativity can be incredibly beneficial in finding a solution to a tricky problem.
In conclusion, I have a positive attitude when problem-solving can be immensely beneficial. It can increase motivation, provide clarity and focus, and foster creativity and innovation, all of which are important in finding a solution to a problem. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a positive attitude when facing a problem to maximize the chances of finding a solution.
What are the key components that contribute to effective problem-solving?
Key Components of Effective Problem-Solving Understanding the Situation The first component of effective problem-solving is understanding the situation properly. This entails gathering comprehensive information about the problem and defining it explicitly. Accurate problem identification enables the problem-solver to establish relevant goals and objectives that are critical in devising feasible solutions. Exploring Multiple Perspectives Divergent thinking, or exploring multiple perspectives, is the second key component. It involves considering different viewpoints, opinions, and beliefs in order to identify various aspects of the problem. By being open-minded and considering different alternatives, a problem solver can generate multiple potential solutions, increasing the likelihood of developing an effective and creative resolution. Critical Thinking and Analysis The third key component is critical thinking and analysis, involving the evaluation of the problem and potential solutions. By analyzing each solution's pros and cons, the problem solver can determine the most appropriate course of action. Factoring in the feasibility, practicality, and effectiveness of each solution allows for selecting the most viable option that adheres to predetermined goals and objectives. Decision Making and Implementation The fourth component is decision making and implementation, which requires selecting the best solution and putting it into practice. It is crucial to consider the potential consequences and necessary resources while taking decisive action. Effective problem-solving involves continual assessment and adjustments to improve and refine the chosen solution. Collaboration and Communication Lastly, collaboration and communication play a significant role in problem-solving. Consulting with other individuals can offer fresh insights, ideas, and expertise, which can greatly enhance the problem-solving process. Furthermore, clear and concise communication is essential in conveying the problem, proposed solutions, and implementation strategies to all relevant stakeholders. In conclusion, effective problem-solving is a multifaceted process that involves understanding the situation, exploring multiple perspectives, employing critical thinking and analysis, making decisions and implementing solutions, and cultivating collaboration and communication. By mastering these components, individuals and teams can successfully address various challenges and achieve their goals.
How can cultivating a positive attitude improve the overall problem-solving process?
Significance of a Positive Attitude Cultivating a positive attitude plays a vital role in enhancing the problem-solving process by fostering creativity and increasing motivation to succeed. When an individual approaches a problem with a positive mindset, they are more likely to engage in divergent thinking, where multiple solutions are explored to reach an optimal outcome (Isen, 2009). This perspective enables them to consider various alternative paths, leading to increased adaptability and a more manageable pathway towards resolution. Impact on Cognitive Abilities A positive attitude also enhances cognitive abilities, allowing individuals to effectively process information, identify patterns, and make logical connections (Fredrickson, 2004). By focusing on the potential for success, the brain can more efficiently organize and analyze relevant data, improving the quality of the decision-making process. Furthermore, optimism bolsters resilience and persistence, as individuals are more likely to view setbacks as temporary obstacles rather than insurmountable barriers (Seligman, 2006). Collaboration and Conflict Resolution Positive attitude extends beyond personal cognitive benefits and has the potential to improve group dynamics when solving complex problems collectively. By promoting a constructive environment, individuals are encouraged to share ideas, learn from others, and support their peers in formulating creative solutions (Amabile, 1996). Moreover, a positive attitude facilitates effective conflict resolution, as individuals are more predisposed to understand alternative viewpoints and collaborate to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes (Deutsch, 2000). Conclusion In conclusion, cultivating a positive attitude yields numerous benefits for the overall problem-solving process. By stimulating divergent thinking, enhancing cognitive abilities, and fostering effective collaboration among team members, individuals with a positive mindset can overcome challenges and develop innovative solutions. Therefore, embracing optimism and resilience significantly improves not only one’s personal problem-solving skills but also fosters a supportive environment where the collective intelligence thrives.
What are some practical strategies that can be employed to maintain a positive attitude while tackling complex problems?
Practical strategies for maintaining a positive attitude Cultivating a growth mindset One practical strategy for maintaining a positive attitude while tackling complex problems is cultivating a growth mindset. This involves embracing challenges, viewing failures as opportunities to learn and persisting in the face of obstacles. Setting smaller, achievable goals Another strategy is setting smaller, achievable goals. Breaking the complex problem down into manageable tasks helps make it less daunting and encourages progress. Completion of each smaller task provides a sense of accomplishment, motivating continued efforts. Adopting effective time management Implementing effective time management not only improves efficiency but also reduces stress. Prioritising tasks, setting realistic deadlines and incorporating breaks into the schedule ensures steady progress and protects against burnout. Emphasising mental and physical well-being Maintaining mental and physical well-being is crucial for sustaining a positive attitude. Prioritising sleep, nutrition, exercise and relaxation promotes a healthy mindset, better focus and increased resilience when faced with difficult problems. Surrounding oneself with positivity Our social environment can significantly impact our attitude. Surrounding oneself with positive, supportive and like-minded individuals helps create an uplifting environment conducive to problem-solving. Practicing self-compassion Recognising that everyone experiences occasional setbacks is essential for maintaining a positive attitude. Instead of being self-critical, practice self-compassion, accepting the present circumstances and focusing on what can be controlled and improved. Using positive affirmations Positive affirmations are statements that promote a positive mindset and stress resilience. Repeating these affirmations throughout the day can help boost self-esteem, motivation and overall attitude. Seeking external resources Lastly, seeking external resources like books, articles, online courses or even consulting with experts can provide valuable insights and tools for solving complex problems. These resources augment understanding and foster a sense of empowerment. In conclusion, incorporating various practical strategies such as cultivating a growth mindset, setting smaller goals, managing time effectively, prioritising well-being, surrounding oneself with positivity, practicing self-compassion, using positive affirmations and seeking external resources can help maintain a positive attitude while tackling complex problems. These approaches not only facilitate problem-solving but also improve overall resilience and well-being.
What are the factors that contribute to developing and maintaining a positive attitude during problem-solving?
Factors Influencing Positive Attitude Development Various factors contribute to developing and maintaining a positive attitude during problem-solving, which can enhance an individual's overall performance and success in finding effective solutions. These factors include cognitive, emotional, social, and environmental aspects. Cognitive Factors The cognitive factors involve an individual's inherent beliefs, perceptions, and thought patterns. A growth mindset, which embraces challenges and views effort as a pathway to improvement, is critical for fostering a positive attitude during problem-solving. Additionally, self-efficacy, or the belief in one's ability to achieve a desired outcome, can boost problem-solving efficiency and facilitate a positive attitude. Emotional Factors Positive emotions, like optimism and hope, play a vital role in maintaining a positive attitude during problem-solving. Optimism fosters resilience and encourages an individual to face challenges with a constructive approach. Further, hope promotes goal-directed thinking, adaptive coping strategies, and heightened motivation, which influence one's problem-solving attitude positively. Social Factors The social environment, including the presence of supportive peers, mentors, or supervisors, can contribute to a positive attitude development during problem-solving. Individuals in encouraging social contexts are more likely to feel confident and motivated to tackle challenges. Collaboration and teamwork can also facilitate diverse perspectives and creative solutions, promoting a constructive problem-solving attitude. Environmental Factors Lastly, the physical environment can impact an individual's attitude while addressing problems. A comfortable, organized, and functional workspace can foster focus, productivity, and a positive attitude. Additionally, implementing stress-relief techniques, such as regular breaks and stress-relieving activities, can foster a relaxed state of mind, essential for problem-solving. In conclusion, developing and maintaining a positive attitude during problem-solving involves a holistic approach that takes into account cognitive, emotional, social, and environmental factors. Cultivating a growth mindset, nurturing positive emotions, fostering supportive social connections, and optimizing the physical environment can significantly enhance an individual's problem-solving attitude and performance.
How do positive attitudes in problem-solving influence group dynamics and collaboration?
Impact on Group Dynamics Positive attitudes in problem-solving significantly affect group dynamics by fostering healthy communication channels, active participation, and commitment. With a solution-oriented mindset, group members tend to focus more on finding common ground, thereby minimizing conflicts and misunderstandings. As individuals distinctly acknowledge the potential of diverse perspectives in the resolution of complex tasks, they adopt a proactive approach to engaging with others. Enhancing Collaboration In addition, a positive problem-solving atmosphere promotes a sense of shared responsibility among group members. This feeling of connectedness paves the way for smooth collaboration, allowing individuals to leverage their strengths in achieving a shared objective. When group members support one another in overcoming challenges, they build trust and strengthen their interdependence, which is crucial for promoting a cohesive team culture. Promoting Creativity and Innovation Moreover, positive attitudes in problem-solving stimulate creativity and innovation within groups, as participants feel more comfortable sharing their ideas and thinking outside the box. By fostering an environment that celebrates diverse thinking and encourages open discussions, groups harness a wealth of knowledge that ultimately leads to the generation of novel solutions to complex issues. Encouraging Adaptability Furthermore, groups with a positive problem-solving outlook demonstrate high adaptability and resilience when encountering unexpected obstacles or setbacks. By focusing on solutions rather than dwelling on failure, members develop a sense of empowerment and determination. This, in turn, increases the group's overall capacity to develop and implement effective strategies that address the task at hand. Conclusion In summary, positive attitudes in problem-solving significantly influence group dynamics and collaboration by facilitating effective communication, fostering collective responsibility, stimulating creativity, and promoting adaptability. By cultivating a constructive and solution-oriented environment, groups can enhance their overall effectiveness and maximize their potential in achieving desired outcomes.
In what ways can fostering a positive attitude in problem-solving enhance creativity and innovation?
The Impact of a Positive Attitude Fostering a positive attitude in problem-solving significantly influences creativity and innovation within individuals and organizations. A positive mindset toward problem-solving allows the individual to explore more possibilities, yielding dynamic approaches for resolving issues. The Role of Cognitive Flexibility One crucial aspect of this influence is cognitive flexibility, which is the ability to think about a problem from multiple perspectives and generate diverse ideas. A positive attitude improves cognitive flexibility by encouraging individuals to focus on the potential benefits of generating innovative solutions, rather than dwelling on the difficulties faced in arriving at those solutions. This shift in focus enhances creative thinking by expanding the range of ideas and perspectives explored. Encouragement of Collaboration Additionally, a positive attitude promotes collaboration and knowledge sharing among team members, fostering a synergistic environment that supports idea generation and innovation. When individuals approach problem-solving with optimism, they are more open to hearing and learning from others' perspectives, facilitating the exchange of valuable insights and ideas. Embracing Risk-taking and Uncertainty Furthermore, a positive mindset empowers individuals to embrace risks and uncertainties associated with innovative problem-solving. By considering setbacks and failures as opportunities for learning and improvement, individuals can develop resilience and adaptability, vital traits for creativity and innovation. A positive attitude toward problem-solving encourages experimentation and learning, cultivating a growth mindset that fuels innovation. Enhanced Motivation and Persistence Finally, a positive attitude bolsters motivation and persistence in the face of challenging problems. When individuals believe in their ability to find solutions and the potential value of their ideas, they become more passionate about the problem-solving process. They are more likely to continue exploring and refining ideas, resulting in an increase in creative output and the development of innovative solutions. In conclusion, fostering a positive attitude in problem-solving can greatly enhance creativity and innovation by supporting cognitive flexibility, encouraging collaboration, embracing risk-taking and uncertainty, and bolstering motivation and persistence. Therefore, individuals and organizations should invest in cultivating a positive outlook for improved problem-solving outcomes, driving overall success.
Yu Payne is an American professional who believes in personal growth. After studying The Art & Science of Transformational from Erickson College, she continuously seeks out new trainings to improve herself. She has been producing content for the IIENSTITU Blog since 2021. Her work has been featured on various platforms, including but not limited to: ThriveGlobal, TinyBuddha, and Addicted2Success. Yu aspires to help others reach their full potential and live their best lives.
What are Problem Solving Skills?
3 Apps To Help Improve Problem Solving Skills
How To Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills
Improve Your Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills
Edison's 99%: Problem Solving Skills
How To Become a Great Problem Solver?
Definition of Problem-Solving With Examples
A Problem Solving Method: Brainstorming
Introduction to Problem Solving Skills
What is problem solving and why is it important.
The ability to solve problems is a basic life skill and is essential to our day-to-day lives, at home, at school, and at work. We solve problems every day without really thinking about how we solve them. For example: it’s raining and you need to go to the store. What do you do? There are lots of possible solutions. Take your umbrella and walk. If you don't want to get wet, you can drive, or take the bus. You might decide to call a friend for a ride, or you might decide to go to the store another day. There is no right way to solve this problem and different people will solve it differently.
Problem solving is the process of identifying a problem, developing possible solution paths, and taking the appropriate course of action.
Why is problem solving important? Good problem solving skills empower you not only in your personal life but are critical in your professional life. In the current fast-changing global economy, employers often identify everyday problem solving as crucial to the success of their organizations. For employees, problem solving can be used to develop practical and creative solutions, and to show independence and initiative to employers.
Throughout this case study you will be asked to jot down your thoughts in idea logs. These idea logs are used for reflection on concepts and for answering short questions. When you click on the "Next" button, your responses will be saved for that page. If you happen to close the webpage, you will lose your work on the page you were on, but previous pages will be saved. At the end of the case study, click on the "Finish and Export to PDF" button to acknowledge completion of the case study and receive a PDF document of your idea logs.
What Does Problem Solving Look Like?
The ability to solve problems is a skill, and just like any other skill, the more you practice, the better you get. So how exactly do you practice problem solving? Learning about different problem solving strategies and when to use them will give you a good start. Problem solving is a process. Most strategies provide steps that help you identify the problem and choose the best solution. There are two basic types of strategies: algorithmic and heuristic.
Algorithmic strategies are traditional step-by-step guides to solving problems. They are great for solving math problems (in algebra: multiply and divide, then add or subtract) or for helping us remember the correct order of things (a mnemonic such as “Spring Forward, Fall Back” to remember which way the clock changes for daylight saving time, or “Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey” to remember what direction to turn bolts and screws). Algorithms are best when there is a single path to the correct solution.
But what do you do when there is no single solution for your problem? Heuristic methods are general guides used to identify possible solutions. A popular one that is easy to remember is IDEAL [ Bransford & Stein, 1993 ] :
- I dentify the problem
- D efine the context of the problem
- E xplore possible strategies
- A ct on best solution
IDEAL is just one problem solving strategy. Building a toolbox of problem solving strategies will improve your problem solving skills. With practice, you will be able to recognize and use multiple strategies to solve complex problems.
Watch the video
What is the best way to get a peanut out of a tube that cannot be moved? Watch a chimpanzee solve this problem in the video below [ Geert Stienissen, 2010 ].
Describe the series of steps you think the chimpanzee used to solve this problem.
- [Page 2: What does Problem Solving Look Like?] Describe the series of steps you think the chimpanzee used to solve this problem.
Think of an everyday problem you've encountered recently and describe your steps for solving it.
- [Page 2: What does Problem Solving Look Like?] Think of an everyday problem you've encountered recently and describe your steps for solving it.
Developing Problem Solving Processes
Problem solving is a process that uses steps to solve problems. But what does that really mean? Let's break it down and start building our toolbox of problem solving strategies.
What is the first step of solving any problem? The first step is to recognize that there is a problem and identify the right cause of the problem. This may sound obvious, but similar problems can arise from different events, and the real issue may not always be apparent. To really solve the problem, it's important to find out what started it all. This is called identifying the root cause .
Example: You and your classmates have been working long hours on a project in the school's workshop. The next afternoon, you try to use your student ID card to access the workshop, but discover that your magnetic strip has been demagnetized. Since the card was a couple of years old, you chalk it up to wear and tear and get a new ID card. Later that same week you learn that several of your classmates had the same problem! After a little investigation, you discover that a strong magnet was stored underneath a workbench in the workshop. The magnet was the root cause of the demagnetized student ID cards.
The best way to identify the root cause of the problem is to ask questions and gather information. If you have a vague problem, investigating facts is more productive than guessing a solution. Ask yourself questions about the problem. What do you know about the problem? What do you not know? When was the last time it worked correctly? What has changed since then? Can you diagram the process into separate steps? Where in the process is the problem occurring? Be curious, ask questions, gather facts, and make logical deductions rather than assumptions.
Watch Adam Savage from Mythbusters, describe his problem solving process [ ForaTv, 2010 ]. As you watch this section of the video, try to identify the questions he asks and the different strategies he uses.
Adam Savage shared many of his problem solving processes. List the ones you think are the five most important. Your list may be different from other people in your class—that's ok!
- [Page 3: Developing Problem Solving Processes] Adam Savage shared many of his problem solving processes. List the ones you think are the five most important.
“The ability to ask the right question is more than half the battle of finding the answer.” — Thomas J. Watson , founder of IBM
Voices From the Field: Solving Problems
In manufacturing facilities and machine shops, everyone on the floor is expected to know how to identify problems and find solutions. Today's employers look for the following skills in new employees: to analyze a problem logically, formulate a solution, and effectively communicate with others.
In this video, industry professionals share their own problem solving processes, the problem solving expectations of their employees, and an example of how a problem was solved.
Meet the Partners:
- Taconic High School in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, is a comprehensive, fully accredited high school with special programs in Health Technology, Manufacturing Technology, and Work-Based Learning.
- Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, prepares its students with applied manufacturing technical skills, providing hands-on experience at industrial laboratories and manufacturing facilities, and instructing them in current technologies.
- H.C. Starck in Newton, Massachusetts, specializes in processing and manufacturing technology metals, such as tungsten, niobium, and tantalum. In almost 100 years of experience, they hold over 900 patents, and continue to innovate and develop new products.
- Nypro Healthcare in Devens, Massachusetts, specializes in precision injection-molded healthcare products. They are committed to good manufacturing processes including lean manufacturing and process validation.
Now that you have a couple problem solving strategies in your toolbox, let's practice. In this exercise, you are given a scenario and you will be asked to decide what steps you would take to identify and solve the problem.
Scenario: You are a new employee and have just finished your training. As your first project, you have been assigned the milling of several additional components for a regular customer. Together, you and your trainer, Bill, set up for the first run. Checking your paperwork, you gather the tools and materials on the list. As you are mounting the materials on the table, you notice that you didn't grab everything and hurriedly grab a few more items from one of the bins. Once the material is secured on the CNC table, you load tools into the tool carousel in the order listed on the tool list and set the fixture offsets.
Bill tells you that since this is a rerun of a job several weeks ago, the CAD/CAM model has already been converted to CNC G-code. Bill helps you download the code to the CNC machine. He gives you the go-ahead and leaves to check on another employee. You decide to start your first run.
What problems did you observe in the video?
- [Page 5: Making Decisions] What problems did you observe in the video?
- What do you do next?
- Try to fix it yourself.
- Ask your trainer for help.
As you are cleaning up, you think about what happened and wonder why it happened. You try to create a mental picture of what happened. You are not exactly sure what the end mill hit, but it looked like it might have hit the dowel pin. You wonder if you grabbed the correct dowel pins from the bins earlier.
You can think of two possible next steps. You can recheck the dowel pin length to make sure it is the correct length, or do a dry run using the CNC single step or single block function with the spindle empty to determine what actually happened.
- Check the dowel pins.
- Use the single step/single block function to determine what happened.
You notice that your trainer, Bill, is still on the floor and decide to ask him for help. You describe the problem to him. Bill asks if you know what the end mill ran into. You explain that you are not sure but you think it was the dowel pin. Bill reminds you that it is important to understand what happened so you can fix the correct problem. He suggests that you start all over again and begin with a dry run using the single step/single block function, with the spindle empty, to determine what it hit. Or, since it happened at the end, he mentions that you can also check the G-code to make sure the Z-axis is raised before returning to the home position.
- Run the single step/single block function.
- Edit the G-code to raise the Z-axis.
You finish cleaning up and check the CNC for any damage. Luckily, everything looks good. You check your paperwork and gather the components and materials again. You look at the dowel pins you used earlier, and discover that they are not the right length. As you go to grab the correct dowel pins, you have to search though several bins. For the first time, you are aware of the mess - it looks like the dowel pins and other items have not been put into the correctly labeled bins. You spend 30 minutes straightening up the bins and looking for the correct dowel pins.
Finally finding them, you finish setting up. You load tools into the tool carousel in the order listed on the tool list and set the fixture offsets. Just to make sure, you use the CNC single step/single block function, to do a dry run of the part. Everything looks good! You are ready to create your first part. The first component is done, and, as you admire your success, you notice that the part feels hotter than it should.
You wonder why? You go over the steps of the process to mentally figure out what could be causing the residual heat. You wonder if there is a problem with the CNC's coolant system or if the problem is in the G-code.
- Look at the G-code.
After thinking about the problem, you decide that maybe there's something wrong with the setup. First, you clean up the damaged materials and remove the broken tool. You check the CNC machine carefully for any damage. Luckily, everything looks good. It is time to start over again from the beginning.
You again check your paperwork and gather the tools and materials on the setup sheet. After securing the new materials, you use the CNC single step/single block function with the spindle empty, to do a dry run of the part. You watch carefully to see if you can figure out what happened. It looks to you like the spindle barely misses hitting the dowel pin. You determine that the end mill was broken when it hit the dowel pin while returning to the start position.
After conducting a dry run using the single step/single block function, you determine that the end mill was damaged when it hit the dowel pin on its return to the home position. You discuss your options with Bill. Together, you decide the best thing to do would be to edit the G-code and raise the Z-axis before returning to home. You open the CNC control program and edit the G-code. Just to make sure, you use the CNC single step/single block function, to do another dry run of the part. You are ready to create your first part. It works. You first part is completed. Only four more to go.
As you are cleaning up, you notice that the components are hotter than you expect and the end mill looks more worn than it should be. It dawns on you that while you were milling the component, the coolant didn't turn on. You wonder if it is a software problem in the G-code or hardware problem with the CNC machine.
It's the end of the day and you decide to finish the rest of the components in the morning.
- You decide to look at the G-code in the morning.
- You leave a note on the machine, just in case.
You decide that the best thing to do would be to edit the G-code and raise the Z-axis of the spindle before it returns to home. You open the CNC control program and edit the G-code.
While editing the G-code to raise the Z-axis, you notice that the coolant is turned off at the beginning of the code and at the end of the code. The coolant command error caught your attention because your coworker, Mark, mentioned having a similar issue during lunch. You change the coolant command to turn the mist on.
- You decide to talk with your supervisor.
- You discuss what happened with a coworker over lunch.
As you reflect on the residual heat problem, you think about the machining process and the factors that could have caused the issue. You try to think of anything and everything that could be causing the issue. Are you using the correct tool for the specified material? Are you using the specified material? Is it running at the correct speed? Is there enough coolant? Are there chips getting in the way?
Wait, was the coolant turned on? As you replay what happened in your mind, you wonder why the coolant wasn't turned on. You decide to look at the G-code to find out what is going on.
From the milling machine computer, you open the CNC G-code. You notice that there are no coolant commands. You add them in and on the next run, the coolant mist turns on and the residual heat issues is gone. Now, its on to creating the rest of the parts.
Have you ever used brainstorming to solve a problem? Chances are, you've probably have, even if you didn't realize it.
You notice that your trainer, Bill, is on the floor and decide to ask him for help. You describe the problem with the end mill breaking, and how you discovered that items are not being returned to the correctly labeled bins. You think this caused you to grab the incorrect length dowel pins on your first run. You have sorted the bins and hope that the mess problem is fixed. You then go on to tell Bill about the residual heat issue with the completed part.
Together, you go to the milling machine. Bill shows you how to check the oil and coolant levels. Everything looks good at the machine level. Next, on the CNC computer, you open the CNC G-code. While looking at the code, Bill points out that there are no coolant commands. Bill adds them in and when you rerun the program, it works.
Bill is glad you mentioned the problem to him. You are the third worker to mention G-code issues over the last week. You noticed the coolant problems in your G-code, John noticed a Z-axis issue in his G-code, and Sam had issues with both the Z-axis and the coolant. Chances are, there is a bigger problem and Bill will need to investigate the root cause .
Talking with Bill, you discuss the best way to fix the problem. Bill suggests editing the G-code to raise the Z-axis of the spindle before it returns to its home position. You open the CNC control program and edit the G-code. Following the setup sheet, you re-setup the job and use the CNC single step/single block function, to do another dry run of the part. Everything looks good, so you run the job again and create the first part. It works. Since you need four of each component, you move on to creating the rest of them before cleaning up and leaving for the day.
It's a new day and you have new components to create. As you are setting up, you go in search of some short dowel pins. You discover that the bins are a mess and components have not been put away in the correctly labeled bins. You wonder if this was the cause of yesterday's problem. As you reorganize the bins and straighten up the mess, you decide to mention the mess issue to Bill in your afternoon meeting.
You describe the bin mess and using the incorrect length dowels to Bill. He is glad you mentioned the problem to him. You are not the first person to mention similar issues with tools and parts not being put away correctly. Chances are there is a bigger safety issue here that needs to be addressed in the next staff meeting.
In any workplace, following proper safety and cleanup procedures is always important. This is especially crucial in manufacturing where people are constantly working with heavy, costly and sometimes dangerous equipment. When issues and problems arise, it is important that they are addressed in an efficient and timely manner. Effective communication is an important tool because it can prevent problems from recurring, avoid injury to personnel, reduce rework and scrap, and ultimately, reduce cost, and save money.
You now know that the end mill was damaged when it hit the dowel pin. It seems to you that the easiest thing to do would be to edit the G-code and raise the Z-axis position of the spindle before it returns to the home position. You open the CNC control program and edit the G-code, raising the Z-axis. Starting over, you follow the setup sheet and re-setup the job. This time, you use the CNC single step/single block function, to do another dry run of the part. Everything looks good, so you run the job again and create the first part.
At the end of the day, you are reviewing your progress with your trainer, Bill. After you describe the day's events, he reminds you to always think about safety and the importance of following work procedures. He decides to bring the issue up in the next morning meeting as a reminder to everyone.
In any workplace, following proper procedures (especially those that involve safety) is always important. This is especially crucial in manufacturing where people are constantly working with heavy, costly, and sometimes dangerous equipment. When issues and problems arise, it is important that they are addressed in an efficient and timely manner. Effective communication is an important tool because it can prevent problems from recurring, avoid injury to personnel, reduce rework and scrap, and ultimately, reduce cost, and save money. One tool to improve communication is the morning meeting or huddle.
The next morning, you check the G-code to determine what is wrong with the coolant. You notice that the coolant is turned off at the beginning of the code and also at the end of the code. This is strange. You change the G-code to turn the coolant on at the beginning of the run and off at the end. This works and you create the rest of the parts.
Throughout the day, you keep wondering what caused the G-code error. At lunch, you mention the G-code error to your coworker, John. John is not surprised. He said that he encountered a similar problem earlier this week. You decide to talk with your supervisor the next time you see him.
You are in luck. You see your supervisor by the door getting ready to leave. You hurry over to talk with him. You start off by telling him about how you asked Bill for help. Then you tell him there was a problem and the end mill was damaged. You describe the coolant problem in the G-code. Oh, and by the way, John has seen a similar problem before.
Your supervisor doesn't seem overly concerned, errors happen. He tells you "Good job, I am glad you were able to fix the issue." You are not sure whether your supervisor understood your explanation of what happened or that it had happened before.
The challenge of communicating in the workplace is learning how to share your ideas and concerns. If you need to tell your supervisor that something is not going well, it is important to remember that timing, preparation, and attitude are extremely important.
It is the end of your shift, but you want to let the next shift know that the coolant didn't turn on. You do not see your trainer or supervisor around. You decide to leave a note for the next shift so they are aware of the possible coolant problem. You write a sticky note and leave it on the monitor of the CNC control system.
How effective do you think this solution was? Did it address the problem?
In this scenario, you discovered several problems with the G-code that need to be addressed. When issues and problems arise, it is important that they are addressed in an efficient and timely manner. Effective communication is an important tool because it can prevent problems from recurring and avoid injury to personnel. The challenge of communicating in the workplace is learning how and when to share your ideas and concerns. If you need to tell your co-workers or supervisor that there is a problem, it is important to remember that timing and the method of communication are extremely important.
You are able to fix the coolant problem in the G-code. While you are glad that the problem is fixed, you are worried about why it happened in the first place. It is important to remember that if a problem keeps reappearing, you may not be fixing the right problem. You may only be addressing the symptoms.
You decide to talk to your trainer. Bill is glad you mentioned the problem to him. You are the third worker to mention G-code issues over the last week. You noticed the coolant problems in your G-code, John noticed a Z-axis issue in his G-code, and Sam had issues with both the Z-axis and the coolant. Chances are, there is a bigger problem and Bill will need to investigate the root cause .
Over lunch, you ask your coworkers about the G-code problem and what may be causing the error. Several people mention having similar problems but do not know the cause.
You have now talked to three coworkers who have all experienced similar coolant G-code problems. You make a list of who had the problem, when they had the problem, and what each person told you.
When you see your supervisor later that afternoon, you are ready to talk with him. You describe the problem you had with your component and the damaged bit. You then go on to tell him about talking with Bill and discovering the G-code issue. You show him your notes on your coworkers' coolant issues, and explain that you think there might be a bigger problem.
You supervisor thanks you for your initiative in identifying this problem. It sounds like there is a bigger problem and he will need to investigate the root cause. He decides to call a team huddle to discuss the issue, gather more information, and talk with the team about the importance of communication.
Root Cause Analysis
Root cause analysis ( RCA ) is a method of problem solving that identifies the underlying causes of an issue. Root cause analysis helps people answer the question of why the problem occurred in the first place. RCA uses clear cut steps in its associated tools, like the "5 Whys Analysis" and the "Cause and Effect Diagram," to identify the origin of the problem, so that you can:
- Determine what happened.
- Determine why it happened.
- Fix the problem so it won’t happen again.
RCA works under the idea that systems and events are connected. An action in one area triggers an action in another, and another, and so on. By tracing back these actions, you can discover where the problem started and how it developed into the problem you're now facing. Root cause analysis can prevent problems from recurring, reduce injury to personnel, reduce rework and scrap, and ultimately, reduce cost and save money. There are many different RCA techniques available to determine the root cause of a problem. These are just a few:
- Root Cause Analysis Tools
- 5 Whys Analysis
- Fishbone or Cause and Effect Diagram
- Pareto Analysis
How Huddles Work
Communication is a vital part of any setting where people work together. Effective communication helps employees and managers form efficient teams. It builds trusts between employees and management, and reduces unnecessary competition because each employee knows how their part fits in the larger goal.
One tool that management can use to promote communication in the workplace is the huddle . Just like football players on the field, a huddle is a short meeting where everyone is standing in a circle. A daily team huddle ensures that team members are aware of changes to the schedule, reiterated problems and safety issues, and how their work impacts one another. When done right, huddles create collaboration, communication, and accountability to results. Impromptu huddles can be used to gather information on a specific issue and get each team member's input.
The most important thing to remember about huddles is that they are short, lasting no more than 10 minutes, and their purpose is to communicate and identify. In essence, a huddle’s purpose is to identify priorities, communicate essential information, and discover roadblocks to productivity.
Who uses huddles? Many industries and companies use daily huddles. At first thought, most people probably think of hospitals and their daily patient update meetings, but lots of managers use daily meetings to engage their employees. Here are a few examples:
- Brian Scudamore, CEO of 1-800-Got-Junk? , uses the daily huddle as an operational tool to take the pulse of his employees and as a motivational tool. Watch a morning huddle meeting .
- Fusion OEM, an outsourced manufacturing and production company. What do employees take away from the daily huddle meeting .
- Biz-Group, a performance consulting group. Tips for a successful huddle .
One tool that can be useful in problem solving is brainstorming . Brainstorming is a creativity technique designed to generate a large number of ideas for the solution to a problem. The method was first popularized in 1953 by Alex Faickney Osborn in the book Applied Imagination . The goal is to come up with as many ideas as you can in a fixed amount of time. Although brainstorming is best done in a group, it can be done individually. Like most problem solving techniques, brainstorming is a process.
- Define a clear objective.
- Have an agreed a time limit.
- During the brainstorming session, write down everything that comes to mind, even if the idea sounds crazy.
- If one idea leads to another, write down that idea too.
- Combine and refine ideas into categories of solutions.
- Assess and analyze each idea as a potential solution.
When used during problem solving, brainstorming can offer companies new ways of encouraging staff to think creatively and improve production. Brainstorming relies on team members' diverse experiences, adding to the richness of ideas explored. This means that you often find better solutions to the problems. Team members often welcome the opportunity to contribute ideas and can provide buy-in for the solution chosen—after all, they are more likely to be committed to an approach if they were involved in its development. What's more, because brainstorming is fun, it helps team members bond.
- Watch Peggy Morgan Collins, a marketing executive at Power Curve Communications discuss How to Stimulate Effective Brainstorming .
- Watch Kim Obbink, CEO of Filter Digital, a digital content company, and her team share their top five rules for How to Effectively Generate Ideas .
Importance of Good Communication and Problem Description
Communication is one of the most frequent activities we engage in on a day-to-day basis. At some point, we have all felt that we did not effectively communicate an idea as we would have liked. The key to effective communication is preparation. Rather than attempting to haphazardly improvise something, take a few minutes and think about what you want say and how you will say it. If necessary, write yourself a note with the key points or ideas in the order you want to discuss them. The notes can act as a reminder or guide when you talk to your supervisor.
Tips for clear communication of an issue:
- Provide a clear summary of your problem. Start at the beginning, give relevant facts, timelines, and examples.
- Avoid including your opinion or personal attacks in your explanation.
- Avoid using words like "always" or "never," which can give the impression that you are exaggerating the problem.
- If this is an ongoing problem and you have collected documentation, give it to your supervisor once you have finished describing the problem.
- Remember to listen to what's said in return; communication is a two-way process.
Not all communication is spoken. Body language is nonverbal communication that includes your posture, your hands and whether you make eye contact. These gestures can be subtle or overt, but most importantly they communicate meaning beyond what is said. When having a conversation, pay attention to how you stand. A stiff position with arms crossed over your chest may imply that you are being defensive even if your words state otherwise. Shoving your hands in your pockets when speaking could imply that you have something to hide. Be wary of using too many hand gestures because this could distract listeners from your message.
The challenge of communicating in the workplace is learning how and when to share your ideas or concerns. If you need to tell your supervisor or co-worker about something that is not going well, keep in mind that good timing and good attitude will go a long way toward helping your case.
Like all skills, effective communication needs to be practiced. Toastmasters International is perhaps the best known public speaking organization in the world. Toastmasters is open to anyone who wish to improve their speaking skills and is willing to put in the time and effort to do so. To learn more, visit Toastmasters International .
Methods of Communication
Communication of problems and issues in any workplace is important, particularly when safety is involved. It is therefore crucial in manufacturing where people are constantly working with heavy, costly, and sometimes dangerous equipment. As issues and problems arise, they need to be addressed in an efficient and timely manner. Effective communication is an important skill because it can prevent problems from recurring, avoid injury to personnel, reduce rework and scrap, and ultimately, reduce cost and save money.
There are many different ways to communicate: in person, by phone, via email, or written. There is no single method that fits all communication needs, each one has its time and place.
In person: In the workplace, face-to-face meetings should be utilized whenever possible. Being able to see the person you need to speak to face-to-face gives you instant feedback and helps you gauge their response through their body language. Be careful of getting sidetracked in conversation when you need to communicate a problem.
Email: Email has become the communication standard for most businesses. It can be accessed from almost anywhere and is great for things that don’t require an immediate response. Email is a great way to communicate non-urgent items to large amounts of people or just your team members. One thing to remember is that most people's inboxes are flooded with emails every day and unless they are hyper vigilant about checking everything, important items could be missed. For issues that are urgent, especially those around safety, email is not always be the best solution.
Phone: Phone calls are more personal and direct than email. They allow us to communicate in real time with another person, no matter where they are. Not only can talking prevent miscommunication, it promotes a two-way dialogue. You don’t have to worry about your words being altered or the message arriving on time. However, mobile phone use and the workplace don't always mix. In particular, using mobile phones in a manufacturing setting can lead to a variety of problems, cause distractions, and lead to serious injury.
Written: Written communication is appropriate when detailed instructions are required, when something needs to be documented, or when the person is too far away to easily speak with over the phone or in person.
There is no "right" way to communicate, but you should be aware of how and when to use the appropriate form of communication for your situation. When deciding the best way to communicate with a co-worker or manager, put yourself in their shoes, and think about how you would want to learn about the issue. Also, consider what information you would need to know to better understand the issue. Use your good judgment of the situation and be considerate of your listener's viewpoint.
Did you notice any other potential problems in the previous exercise?
- [Page 6:] Did you notice any other potential problems in the previous exercise?
Summary of Strategies
In this exercise, you were given a scenario in which there was a problem with a component you were creating on a CNC machine. You were then asked how you wanted to proceed. Depending on your path through this exercise, you might have found an easy solution and fixed it yourself, asked for help and worked with your trainer, or discovered an ongoing G-code problem that was bigger than you initially thought.
When issues and problems arise, it is important that they are addressed in an efficient and timely manner. Communication is an important tool because it can prevent problems from recurring, avoid injury to personnel, reduce rework and scrap, and ultimately, reduce cost, and save money. Although, each path in this exercise ended with a description of a problem solving tool for your toolbox, the first step is always to identify the problem and define the context in which it happened.
There are several strategies that can be used to identify the root cause of a problem. Root cause analysis (RCA) is a method of problem solving that helps people answer the question of why the problem occurred. RCA uses a specific set of steps, with associated tools like the “5 Why Analysis" or the “Cause and Effect Diagram,” to identify the origin of the problem, so that you can:
Once the underlying cause is identified and the scope of the issue defined, the next step is to explore possible strategies to fix the problem.
If you are not sure how to fix the problem, it is okay to ask for help. Problem solving is a process and a skill that is learned with practice. It is important to remember that everyone makes mistakes and that no one knows everything. Life is about learning. It is okay to ask for help when you don’t have the answer. When you collaborate to solve problems you improve workplace communication and accelerates finding solutions as similar problems arise.
One tool that can be useful for generating possible solutions is brainstorming . Brainstorming is a technique designed to generate a large number of ideas for the solution to a problem. The method was first popularized in 1953 by Alex Faickney Osborn in the book Applied Imagination. The goal is to come up with as many ideas as you can, in a fixed amount of time. Although brainstorming is best done in a group, it can be done individually.
Depending on your path through the exercise, you may have discovered that a couple of your coworkers had experienced similar problems. This should have been an indicator that there was a larger problem that needed to be addressed.
In any workplace, communication of problems and issues (especially those that involve safety) is always important. This is especially crucial in manufacturing where people are constantly working with heavy, costly, and sometimes dangerous equipment. When issues and problems arise, it is important that they be addressed in an efficient and timely manner. Effective communication is an important tool because it can prevent problems from recurring, avoid injury to personnel, reduce rework and scrap, and ultimately, reduce cost and save money.
One strategy for improving communication is the huddle . Just like football players on the field, a huddle is a short meeting with everyone standing in a circle. A daily team huddle is a great way to ensure that team members are aware of changes to the schedule, any problems or safety issues are identified and that team members are aware of how their work impacts one another. When done right, huddles create collaboration, communication, and accountability to results. Impromptu huddles can be used to gather information on a specific issue and get each team member's input.
To learn more about different problem solving strategies, choose an option below. These strategies accompany the outcomes of different decision paths in the problem solving exercise.
- View Problem Solving Strategies Select a strategy below... Root Cause Analysis How Huddles Work Brainstorming Importance of Good Problem Description Methods of Communication
Communication is one of the most frequent activities we engage in on a day-to-day basis. At some point, we have all felt that we did not effectively communicate an idea as we would have liked. The key to effective communication is preparation. Rather than attempting to haphazardly improvise something, take a few minutes and think about what you want say and how you will say it. If necessary, write yourself a note with the key points or ideas in the order you want to discuss them. The notes can act as a reminder or guide during your meeting.
- Provide a clear summary of the problem. Start at the beginning, give relevant facts, timelines, and examples.
In person: In the workplace, face-to-face meetings should be utilized whenever possible. Being able to see the person you need to speak to face-to-face gives you instant feedback and helps you gauge their response in their body language. Be careful of getting sidetracked in conversation when you need to communicate a problem.
There is no "right" way to communicate, but you should be aware of how and when to use the appropriate form of communication for the situation. When deciding the best way to communicate with a co-worker or manager, put yourself in their shoes, and think about how you would want to learn about the issue. Also, consider what information you would need to know to better understand the issue. Use your good judgment of the situation and be considerate of your listener's viewpoint.
"Never try to solve all the problems at once — make them line up for you one-by-one.” — Richard Sloma
Problem Solving: An Important Job Skill
Problem solving improves efficiency and communication on the shop floor. It increases a company's efficiency and profitability, so it's one of the top skills employers look for when hiring new employees. Recent industry surveys show that employers consider soft skills, such as problem solving, as critical to their business’s success.
The 2011 survey, "Boiling Point? The skills gap in U.S. manufacturing ," polled over a thousand manufacturing executives who reported that the number one skill deficiency among their current employees is problem solving, which makes it difficult for their companies to adapt to the changing needs of the industry.
In this video, industry professionals discuss their expectations and present tips for new employees joining the manufacturing workforce.
- [Quick Summary: Question1] What are two things you learned in this case study?
- What question(s) do you still have about the case study?
- [Quick Summary: Question2] What question(s) do you still have about the case study?
- Is there anything you would like to learn more about with respect to this case study?
- [Quick Summary: Question3] Is there anything you would like to learn more about with respect to this case study?
10 Best Problem-Solving Therapy Worksheets & Activities
Cognitive science tells us that we regularly face not only well-defined problems but, importantly, many that are ill defined (Eysenck & Keane, 2015).
Sometimes, we find ourselves unable to overcome our daily problems or the inevitable (though hopefully infrequent) life traumas we face.
Problem-Solving Therapy aims to reduce the incidence and impact of mental health disorders and improve wellbeing by helping clients face life’s difficulties (Dobson, 2011).
This article introduces Problem-Solving Therapy and offers techniques, activities, and worksheets that mental health professionals can use with clients.
Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free . These science-based exercises explore fundamental aspects of positive psychology, including strengths, values, and self-compassion, and will give you the tools to enhance the wellbeing of your clients, students, or employees.
This Article Contains:
What is problem-solving therapy, 14 steps for problem-solving therapy, 3 best interventions and techniques, 7 activities and worksheets for your session, fascinating books on the topic, resources from positivepsychology.com, a take-home message.
Problem-Solving Therapy assumes that mental disorders arise in response to ineffective or maladaptive coping. By adopting a more realistic and optimistic view of coping, individuals can understand the role of emotions and develop actions to reduce distress and maintain mental wellbeing (Nezu & Nezu, 2009).
“Problem-solving therapy (PST) is a psychosocial intervention, generally considered to be under a cognitive-behavioral umbrella” (Nezu, Nezu, & D’Zurilla, 2013, p. ix). It aims to encourage the client to cope better with day-to-day problems and traumatic events and reduce their impact on mental and physical wellbeing.
Clinical research, counseling, and health psychology have shown PST to be highly effective in clients of all ages, ranging from children to the elderly, across multiple clinical settings, including schizophrenia, stress, and anxiety disorders (Dobson, 2011).
Can it help with depression?
PST appears particularly helpful in treating clients with depression. A recent analysis of 30 studies found that PST was an effective treatment with a similar degree of success as other successful therapies targeting depression (Cuijpers, Wit, Kleiboer, Karyotaki, & Ebert, 2020).
Other studies confirm the value of PST and its effectiveness at treating depression in multiple age groups and its capacity to combine with other therapies, including drug treatments (Dobson, 2011).
The major concepts
Effective coping varies depending on the situation, and treatment typically focuses on improving the environment and reducing emotional distress (Dobson, 2011).
PST is based on two overlapping models:
Social problem-solving model
This model focuses on solving the problem “as it occurs in the natural social environment,” combined with a general coping strategy and a method of self-control (Dobson, 2011, p. 198).
The model includes three central concepts:
- Social problem-solving
- The problem
- The solution
The model is a “self-directed cognitive-behavioral process by which an individual, couple, or group attempts to identify or discover effective solutions for specific problems encountered in everyday living” (Dobson, 2011, p. 199).
Relational problem-solving model
The theory of PST is underpinned by a relational problem-solving model, whereby stress is viewed in terms of the relationships between three factors:
- Stressful life events
- Emotional distress and wellbeing
- Problem-solving coping
Therefore, when a significant adverse life event occurs, it may require “sweeping readjustments in a person’s life” (Dobson, 2011, p. 202).
- Enhance positive problem orientation
- Decrease negative orientation
- Foster ability to apply rational problem-solving skills
- Reduce the tendency to avoid problem-solving
- Minimize the tendency to be careless and impulsive
D’Zurilla’s and Nezu’s model includes (modified from Dobson, 2011):
- Initial structuring Establish a positive therapeutic relationship that encourages optimism and explains the PST approach.
- Assessment Formally and informally assess areas of stress in the client’s life and their problem-solving strengths and weaknesses.
- Obstacles to effective problem-solving Explore typically human challenges to problem-solving, such as multitasking and the negative impact of stress. Introduce tools that can help, such as making lists, visualization, and breaking complex problems down.
- Problem orientation – fostering self-efficacy Introduce the importance of a positive problem orientation, adopting tools, such as visualization, to promote self-efficacy.
- Problem orientation – recognizing problems Help clients recognize issues as they occur and use problem checklists to ‘normalize’ the experience.
- Problem orientation – seeing problems as challenges Encourage clients to break free of harmful and restricted ways of thinking while learning how to argue from another point of view.
- Problem orientation – use and control emotions Help clients understand the role of emotions in problem-solving, including using feelings to inform the process and managing disruptive emotions (such as cognitive reframing and relaxation exercises).
- Problem orientation – stop and think Teach clients how to reduce impulsive and avoidance tendencies (visualizing a stop sign or traffic light).
- Problem definition and formulation Encourage an understanding of the nature of problems and set realistic goals and objectives.
- Generation of alternatives Work with clients to help them recognize the wide range of potential solutions to each problem (for example, brainstorming).
- Decision-making Encourage better decision-making through an improved understanding of the consequences of decisions and the value and likelihood of different outcomes.
- Solution implementation and verification Foster the client’s ability to carry out a solution plan, monitor its outcome, evaluate its effectiveness, and use self-reinforcement to increase the chance of success.
- Guided practice Encourage the application of problem-solving skills across multiple domains and future stressful problems.
- Rapid problem-solving Teach clients how to apply problem-solving questions and guidelines quickly in any given situation.
Success in PST depends on the effectiveness of its implementation; using the right approach is crucial (Dobson, 2011).
Problem-solving therapy – Baycrest
The following interventions and techniques are helpful when implementing more effective problem-solving approaches in client’s lives.
First, it is essential to consider if PST is the best approach for the client, based on the problems they present.
Is PPT appropriate?
It is vital to consider whether PST is appropriate for the client’s situation. Therapists new to the approach may require additional guidance (Nezu et al., 2013).
Therapists should consider the following questions before beginning PST with a client (modified from Nezu et al., 2013):
- Has PST proven effective in the past for the problem? For example, research has shown success with depression, generalized anxiety, back pain, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and supporting caregivers (Nezu et al., 2013).
- Is PST acceptable to the client?
- Is the individual experiencing a significant mental or physical health problem?
All affirmative answers suggest that PST would be a helpful technique to apply in this instance.
Five problem-solving steps
The following five steps are valuable when working with clients to help them cope with and manage their environment (modified from Dobson, 2011).
Ask the client to consider the following points (forming the acronym ADAPT) when confronted by a problem:
- Attitude Aim to adopt a positive, optimistic attitude to the problem and problem-solving process.
- Define Obtain all required facts and details of potential obstacles to define the problem.
- Alternatives Identify various alternative solutions and actions to overcome the obstacle and achieve the problem-solving goal.
- Predict Predict each alternative’s positive and negative outcomes and choose the one most likely to achieve the goal and maximize the benefits.
- Try out Once selected, try out the solution and monitor its effectiveness while engaging in self-reinforcement.
If the client is not satisfied with their solution, they can return to step ‘A’ and find a more appropriate solution.
When dealing with clients facing negative self-beliefs, it can be helpful for them to use positive self-statements.
Use the following (or add new) self-statements to replace harmful, negative thinking (modified from Dobson, 2011):
- I can solve this problem; I’ve tackled similar ones before.
- I can cope with this.
- I just need to take a breath and relax.
- Once I start, it will be easier.
- It’s okay to look out for myself.
- I can get help if needed.
- Other people feel the same way I do.
- I’ll take one piece of the problem at a time.
- I can keep my fears in check.
- I don’t need to please everyone.
5 Worksheets and workbooks
Problem-solving self-monitoring form.
Answering the questions in the Problem-Solving Self-Monitoring Form provides the therapist with necessary information regarding the client’s overall and specific problem-solving approaches and reactions (Dobson, 2011).
Ask the client to complete the following:
- Describe the problem you are facing.
- What is your goal?
- What have you tried so far to solve the problem?
- What was the outcome?
Reactions to Stress
It can be helpful for the client to recognize their own experiences of stress. Do they react angrily, withdraw, or give up (Dobson, 2011)?
The Reactions to Stress worksheet can be given to the client as homework to capture stressful events and their reactions. By recording how they felt, behaved, and thought, they can recognize repeating patterns.
What Are Your Unique Triggers?
Helping clients capture triggers for their stressful reactions can encourage emotional regulation.
When clients can identify triggers that may lead to a negative response, they can stop the experience or slow down their emotional reaction (Dobson, 2011).
The What Are Your Unique Triggers ? worksheet helps the client identify their triggers (e.g., conflict, relationships, physical environment, etc.).
Imagining an existing or potential problem and working through how to resolve it can be a powerful exercise for the client.
Use the Problem-Solving worksheet to state a problem and goal and consider the obstacles in the way. Then explore options for achieving the goal, along with their pros and cons, to assess the best action plan.
Getting the Facts
Clients can become better equipped to tackle problems and choose the right course of action by recognizing facts versus assumptions and gathering all the necessary information (Dobson, 2011).
Use the Getting the Facts worksheet to answer the following questions clearly and unambiguously:
- Who is involved?
- What did or did not happen, and how did it bother you?
- Where did it happen?
- When did it happen?
- Why did it happen?
- How did you respond?
2 Helpful Group Activities
While therapists can use the worksheets above in group situations, the following two interventions work particularly well with more than one person.
Generating Alternative Solutions and Better Decision-Making
A group setting can provide an ideal opportunity to share a problem and identify potential solutions arising from multiple perspectives.
Use the Generating Alternative Solutions and Better Decision-Making worksheet and ask the client to explain the situation or problem to the group and the obstacles in the way.
Once the approaches are captured and reviewed, the individual can share their decision-making process with the group if they want further feedback.
Visualization can be performed with individuals or in a group setting to help clients solve problems in multiple ways, including (Dobson, 2011):
- Clarifying the problem by looking at it from multiple perspectives
- Rehearsing a solution in the mind to improve and get more practice
- Visualizing a ‘safe place’ for relaxation, slowing down, and stress management
Guided imagery is particularly valuable for encouraging the group to take a ‘mental vacation’ and let go of stress.
Ask the group to begin with slow, deep breathing that fills the entire diaphragm. Then ask them to visualize a favorite scene (real or imagined) that makes them feel relaxed, perhaps beside a gently flowing river, a summer meadow, or at the beach.
The more the senses are engaged, the more real the experience. Ask the group to think about what they can hear, see, touch, smell, and even taste.
Encourage them to experience the situation as fully as possible, immersing themselves and enjoying their place of safety.
Such feelings of relaxation may be able to help clients fall asleep, relieve stress, and become more ready to solve problems.
We have included three of our favorite books on the subject of Problem-Solving Therapy below.
1. Problem-Solving Therapy: A Treatment Manual – Arthur Nezu, Christine Maguth Nezu, and Thomas D’Zurilla
This is an incredibly valuable book for anyone wishing to understand the principles and practice behind PST.
Written by the co-developers of PST, the manual provides powerful toolkits to overcome cognitive overload, emotional dysregulation, and the barriers to practical problem-solving.
Find the book on Amazon .
2. Emotion-Centered Problem-Solving Therapy: Treatment Guidelines – Arthur Nezu and Christine Maguth Nezu
Another, more recent, book from the creators of PST, this text includes important advances in neuroscience underpinning the role of emotion in behavioral treatment.
Along with clinical examples, the book also includes crucial toolkits that form part of a stepped model for the application of PST.
3. Handbook of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies – Keith Dobson and David Dozois
This is the fourth edition of a hugely popular guide to Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies and includes a valuable and insightful section on Problem-Solving Therapy.
This is an important book for students and more experienced therapists wishing to form a high-level and in-depth understanding of the tools and techniques available to Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists.
For even more tools to help strengthen your clients’ problem-solving skills, check out the following free worksheets from our blog.
- Case Formulation Worksheet This worksheet presents a four-step framework to help therapists and their clients come to a shared understanding of the client’s presenting problem.
- Understanding Your Default Problem-Solving Approach This worksheet poses a series of questions helping clients reflect on their typical cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses to problems.
- Social Problem Solving: Step by Step This worksheet presents a streamlined template to help clients define a problem, generate possible courses of action, and evaluate the effectiveness of an implemented solution.
- 17 Positive Psychology Exercises If you’re looking for more science-based ways to help others enhance their wellbeing, check out this signature collection of 17 validated positive psychology tools for practitioners . Use them to help others flourish and thrive.
While we are born problem-solvers, facing an incredibly diverse set of challenges daily, we sometimes need support.
Problem-Solving Therapy aims to reduce stress and associated mental health disorders and improve wellbeing by improving our ability to cope. PST is valuable in diverse clinical settings, ranging from depression to schizophrenia, with research suggesting it as a highly effective treatment for teaching coping strategies and reducing emotional distress.
Many PST techniques are available to help improve clients’ positive outlook on obstacles while reducing avoidance of problem situations and the tendency to be careless and impulsive.
The PST model typically assesses the client’s strengths, weaknesses, and coping strategies when facing problems before encouraging a healthy experience of and relationship with problem-solving.
Why not use this article to explore the theory behind PST and try out some of our powerful tools and interventions with your clients to help them with their decision-making, coping, and problem-solving?
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free .
- Cuijpers, P., Wit, L., Kleiboer, A., Karyotaki, E., & Ebert, D. (2020). Problem-solving therapy for adult depression: An updated meta-analysis. European P sychiatry , 48 (1), 27–37.
- Dobson, K. S. (2011). Handbook of cognitive-behavioral therapies (3rd ed.). Guilford Press.
- Dobson, K. S., & Dozois, D. J. A. (2021). Handbook of cognitive-behavioral therapies (4th ed.). Guilford Press.
- Eysenck, M. W., & Keane, M. T. (2015). Cognitive psychology: A student’s handbook . Psychology Press.
- Nezu, A. M., & Nezu, C. M. (2009). Problem-solving therapy DVD . Retrieved September 13, 2021, from https://www.apa.org/pubs/videos/4310852
- Nezu, A. M., & Nezu, C. M. (2018). Emotion-centered problem-solving therapy: Treatment guidelines. Springer.
- Nezu, A. M., Nezu, C. M., & D’Zurilla, T. J. (2013). Problem-solving therapy: A treatment manual . Springer.
Share this article:
What our readers think.
Thanks for your information given, it was helpful for me something new I learned
Let us know your thoughts Cancel reply
Your email address will not be published.
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
47 Free Therapy Resources to Help Kick-Start Your New Practice
Setting up a private practice in psychotherapy brings several challenges, including a considerable investment of time and money. You can reduce risks early on by [...]
Cognitive Therapy Techniques & Worksheets: Your Ultimate Toolkit
The brain is an amazing organ. It works 24/7 and determines the condition of nearly every aspect of life. The average person has 70,000 thoughts [...]
What Is Guided Imagery & How Can It Help Your Clients Heal?
Guided imagery is a therapeutic intervention in the field of complementary and alternative medicine. It can be a powerful technique to use with coaching, counseling, [...]
Read other articles by their category
- Body & Brain (42)
- Coaching & Application (57)
- Compassion (26)
- Counseling (51)
- Emotional Intelligence (24)
- Gratitude (17)
- Grief & Bereavement (21)
- Happiness & SWB (39)
- Meaning & Values (25)
- Meditation (20)
- Mindfulness (44)
- Motivation & Goals (43)
- Optimism & Mindset (32)
- Positive CBT (25)
- Positive Communication (20)
- Positive Education (44)
- Positive Emotions (30)
- Positive Leadership (13)
- Positive Psychology (32)
- Positive Workplace (33)
- Productivity (16)
- Relationships (42)
- Resilience & Coping (34)
- Self Awareness (21)
- Self Esteem (36)
- Software & Apps (22)
- Strengths & Virtues (30)
- Stress & Burnout Prevention (32)
- Theory & Books (44)
- Therapy Exercises (35)
- Types of Therapy (58)
Save up to 78% site-wide with Black Friday.
Invest in your practice and professional development this holiday season with savings across our entire collection.
Black Friday Sale - Up to 78%
- Online Degree Explore Bachelor’s & Master’s degrees
- MasterTrack™ Earn credit towards a Master’s degree
- University Certificates Advance your career with graduate-level learning
- Top Courses
- Join for Free
7 Problem-Solving Skills That Can Help You Be a More Successful Manager
Discover what problem-solving is, and why it's important for managers. Understand the steps of the process and learn about seven problem-solving skills.
1Managers oversee the day-to-day operations of a particular department, and sometimes a whole company, using their problem-solving skills regularly. Managers with good problem-solving skills can help ensure companies run smoothly and prosper.
If you're a current manager or are striving to become one, read this guide to discover what problem-solving skills are and why it's important for managers to have them. Learn the steps of the problem-solving process, and explore seven skills that can help make problem-solving easier and more effective.
What is problem-solving?
Problem-solving is both an ability and a process. As an ability, problem-solving can aid in resolving issues faced in different environments like home, school, abroad, and social situations, among others. As a process, problem-solving involves a series of steps for finding solutions to questions or concerns that arise throughout life.
The importance of problem-solving for managers
Managers deal with problems regularly, whether supervising a staff of two or 100. When people solve problems quickly and effectively, workplaces can benefit in a number of ways. These include:
Increased job fulfillment
Satisfied clients or customers
Better cooperation and cohesion
Improved environments for employees and customers
7 skills that make problem-solving easier
Companies depend on managers who can solve problems adeptly. Although problem-solving is a skill in its own right, a subset of seven skills can help make the process of problem-solving easier. These include analysis, communication, emotional intelligence, resilience, creativity, adaptability, and teamwork.
As a manager , you'll solve each problem by assessing the situation first. Then, you’ll use analytical skills to distinguish between ineffective and effective solutions.
Effective communication plays a significant role in problem-solving, particularly when others are involved. Some skills that can help enhance communication at work include active listening, speaking with an even tone and volume, and supporting verbal information with written communication.
3. Emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and manage emotions in any situation. People with emotional intelligence usually solve problems calmly and systematically, which often yields better results.
Emotional intelligence and resilience are closely related traits. Resiliency is the ability to cope with and bounce back quickly from difficult situations. Those who possess resilience are often capable of accurately interpreting people and situations, which can be incredibly advantageous when difficulties arise.
When brainstorming solutions to problems, creativity can help you to think outside the box. Problem-solving strategies can be enhanced with the application of creative techniques. You can use creativity to:
Approach problems from different angles
Improve your problem-solving process
Spark creativity in your employees and peers
Adaptability is the capacity to adjust to change. When a particular solution to an issue doesn't work, an adaptable person can revisit the concern to think up another one without getting frustrated.
Finding a solution to a problem regularly involves working in a team. Good teamwork requires being comfortable working with others and collaborating with them, which can result in better problem-solving overall.
Steps of the problem-solving process
Effective problem-solving involves five essential steps. One way to remember them is through the IDEAL model created in 1984 by psychology professors John D. Bransford and Barry S. Stein [ 1 ]. The steps to solving problems in this model include: identifying that there is a problem, defining the goals you hope to achieve, exploring potential solutions, choosing a solution and acting on it, and looking at (or evaluating) the outcome.
1. Identify that there is a problem and root out its cause.
To solve a problem, you must first admit that one exists to then find its root cause. Finding the cause of the problem may involve asking questions like:
Can the problem be solved?
How big of a problem is it?
Why do I think the problem is occurring?
What are some things I know about the situation?
What are some things I don't know about the situation?
Are there any people who contributed to the problem?
Are there materials or processes that contributed to the problem?
Are there any patterns I can identify?
2. Define the goals you hope to achieve.
Every problem is different. The goals you hope to achieve when problem-solving depend on the scope of the problem. Some examples of goals you might set include:
Gather as much factual information as possible.
Brainstorm many different strategies to come up with the best one.
Be flexible when considering other viewpoints.
Articulate clearly and encourage questions, so everyone involved is on the same page.
Be open to other strategies if the chosen strategy doesn't work.
Stay positive throughout the process.
3. Explore potential solutions.
Once you've defined the goals you hope to achieve when problem-solving , it's time to start the process. This involves steps that often include fact-finding, brainstorming, prioritizing solutions, and assessing the cost of top solutions in terms of time, labor, and money.
4. Choose a solution and act on it.
Evaluate the pros and cons of each potential solution, and choose the one most likely to solve the problem within your given budget, abilities, and resources. Once you choose a solution, it's important to make a commitment and see it through. Draw up a plan of action for implementation, and share it with all involved parties clearly and effectively, both verbally and in writing. Make sure everyone understands their role for a successful conclusion.
5. Look at (or evaluate) the outcome.
Evaluation offers insights into your current situation and future problem-solving. When evaluating the outcome, ask yourself questions like:
Did the solution work?
Will this solution work for other problems?
Were there any changes you would have made?
Would another solution have worked better?
As a current or future manager looking to build your problem-solving skills, it is often helpful to take a professional course. Consider Improving Communication Skills offered by the University of Pennsylvania on Coursera. You'll learn how to boost your ability to persuade, ask questions, negotiate, apologize, and more.
You might also consider taking Emotional Intelligence: Cultivating Immensely Human Interactions , offered by the University of Michigan on Coursera. You'll explore the interpersonal and intrapersonal skills common to people with emotional intelligence, and you'll learn how emotional intelligence is connected to team success and leadership.
Tennessee Tech. “ The Ideal Problem Solver (2nd ed.) , https://www.tntech.edu/cat/pdf/useful_links/idealproblemsolver.pdf.” Accessed December 6, 2022.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.
Develop career skills and credentials to stand out
- Build in demand career skills with experts from leading companies and universities
- Choose from over 8000 courses, hands-on projects, and certificate programs
- Learn on your terms with flexible schedules and on-demand courses
- Coaching Positive Performance
- Carthage Buckley
Developing a problem solving mindset
August 22, 2014
Whether you are trying to improve your productivity, improve the quality of your relationships or, resolve conflict; there is one critical factor which is often overlooked – a problem solving mindset. A problem solving mindset is essential in almost every area of life. Even with the best planning and preparation, things will go wrong for you. When this happens, your problem solving mindset will enable you to find the best path forward. You will be able to achieve your objectives quicker, help others to find solutions to their problems and, reduce conflict and stress. When you have an effective problem solving mindset, you become a valuable resource for friends, family and colleagues. Even in the most pressurised of situations, you will be seen as an ally rather than a threat.
Critical aspects of a problem solving mindset
The following skills are critical aspects of a problem solving mindset. As you start to implement these skills, and improve your ability with them, you will see large improvements in the results that you achieve.
Responsibility is both a skill and an attitude. When you encounter a problem in your life, you can either bury your head in the sand or, you can choose to do something proactive about the situation. Sadly, many choose the first option but avoidance is not an effective problem solving skill . When you choose to ignore a problem; it doesn’t go away. Instead, it builds up in the background until eventually; you are forced to deal with it.
With a problem solving mindset, you know that if you do not attempt to deal with the problem; you are creating a bigger problem which, when you are eventually forced to deal with it; it will be more difficult to resolve successfully. Therefore, when you see a problem, you are eager and willing to step up and attempt to resolve the situation.
2. Emotional intelligence
When things go wrong, it is easy to lose control of your emotions. You may become angry or distraught due to things not going as expected. It is important that you feel and experience your emotions but it is just as important that you do not choose your next action based on these emotions. Your emotions are so powerful that they can influence you to take decisions and actions that you would not otherwise consider. An essential component of an effective problem solving mindset is the ability to take ownership of your emotions and then, centre yourself and regain your composure, prior to choosing your response to the situation.
Dr. Steve Peter’s excellent book ‘The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Program to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence, and Happiness’, will give you an excellent overview of this.
3. Goal identification
You would be amazed at how many people I have met over the years who, when faced with a problem, rush straight in to trying to solve the problem before they have decided on the outcome they desire. When you are trying to solve a problem, you must first understand the true nature of the problem . Then, you must decide what solution you would like to achieve i.e. what is the end goal of the problem solving process. If you have no idea of the outcome you are trying to achieve; you will not solve the problem, you will merely change the problem.
Once you have developed a problem solving mindset, you will realise that you need to stand back and analyse a problem before you rush in to solve it. You will then enter the problem solving phase with a clear understanding of what is wrong, what it is costing you and, what you would like to achieve as a result of your efforts. With this approach, your chances of success are greatly elevated.
You can learn more about idenitifying and setting effective goals with the Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting .
4. Descriptive and objective detail
One of the biggest obstacles to problem solving is the apportioning of blame. When you use the language of blame, others take offence and go on the defensive. They are then less likely to engage in any attempts to resolve the situation. To prevent this from happening, it is imperative that you be able to give an accurate, detailed account of what has occurred. If you are unsure of some of the details, say so. Do not try to fill the gap with assumptions as somebody is likely to offer a contrary view, thus leading to an unnecessary argument.
5. Active listening
When I first entered the working world, the term ‘active listening ’ was really taking off. However, the teaching on this area seemed to focus on the need to let the other person know that you are listening; with verbal and physical gestures e.g. nodding your head. However, I have always found that there is a simpler way to practice active listening – listen.
When you genuinely listen to people, and take an interest in what they say, this communicates itself to the person speaking. You will naturally begin to do verbal and physical gestures. You will also find that you are inclined to ask questions and reflect. When you listen actively, the speaker feels valued and appreciated thus encouraging them to be more open, trustworthy and helpful as you try to resolve the problem.
6. Probe and reflect
So, active listening is not just listening. It is listening and, supporting that listening with questions and reflections, with the purpose of gathering as much information about the problem as possible. When you are listening, you may be confused about something that you have heard or, you may wish to learn a little more about something which was mentioned. This is the ideal time to ask a question or two, so that you may probe a little further.
When you develop a problem solving mindset, you realise that there is thinking that you understand and, ensuring that you understand. You don’t settle for thinking that you understand. Instead, you use reflection to tell the speaker your understanding of what they have told you. This is important because it provides them with the opportunity to correct any misunderstandings. This ensures that you can pursue a solution based on facts rather than miscommunications.
7. Desire to find the most appropriate solution
Too often, when trying to solve a problem, people jump at the first solution that comes into their head. In my experience, the first solution is rarely the best or most appropriate solution. It is best to take a period of time to generate as many potential solutions as possible. Invite all of the relevant stakeholders to offer their thoughts. Then, together, you can evaluate each potential solution to determine which one is most likely to bring about the conclusion that you are seeking.
Effective communication skills are an essential part of a problem solving mindset. You can learn more with How To Talk So Others Will Listen .
A problem solving mindset is crucial in every walk of life. When you have a problem solving mindset you understand the difference between actually solving the problem and, merely changing the nature of the problem. When you have a problem solving mindset you have a range of skills and attributes which enable you to find the most appropriate solution to implement, in order to bring about the desired change. As you implement these skills and gain confidence in your ability to use them, you will deal with any problems that may arise, quicker and more effectively. As a consequence, you will improve the quality of the results that you achieve in all areas of your life.
How Does Your Attitude Affect Your Ability to Solve Problems?
- College of International Relations, Huaqiao University, Xiamen, China
Problem-solving ability is an essential part of daily life. Thus, curiosity and a thirst for knowledge should be cultivated in students to help them develop problem solving and independent thinking skills. Along with positive attitudes and an active disposition, these abilities are needed to solve problems throughout the lifespan and develop -confidence. To achieve educational objectives in the context of globalization, creative ability is necessary for generating competitive advantages. Therefore, creative thinking, critical thinking, and problem-solving ability are important basic competencies needed for future world citizens. Creativity should also be integrated into subject teaching to cultivate students' lifelong learning and a creative attitude toward life. A questionnaire was distributed to 420 students in colleges and universities in Fujian, China. After removing invalid and incomplete responses, 363 copies were found to be valid yielding a response rate of 86%. Findings indicate that the new generation requires high levels of support to develop creativity and integrate diverse subjects such as nature, humanities, and technology. A rich imagination is needed to root creativity in the new generation.
Problem solving is ubiquitous in modern life and an essential skill for overcoming the problems we encounter daily. Problems can be overcome using problem-solving principles and creative inspiration from individuals ( Hao et al., 2016 ). Thus, students' curiosity and thirst for knowledge should be cultivated to develop their problem solving and independent thinking abilities. An active approach and positive attitude to solving problems may enhance self-confidence and the ability to cope with challenges.
Education aims to cultivate healthy personalities, thinking, judgment, and creativity ( Su et al., 2014 ). Essentially, education is the learning process to expand students' potential and cultivate their ability to adapt to—and improve—their environment. Basic goals of education should include self-expression, independent thinking, active inquiry, and problem solving. The curriculum goals should be life-centered to develop individuals' potential, cultivate scientific knowledge and skills, and help students adapt to the demands of modern life ( Atmatzidou et al., 2018 ). Education aims to deliver basic knowledge, cultivate physical and mental development, inquiry, and reflection, and create healthy citizens through activities involving interaction between individuals, individuals and society, and society and nature. To achieve educational objectives, students should be guided to develop their performance and creation abilities, research and active exploration abilities, independent thinking and problem-solving abilities. In the current globalization context, creative abilities are required for building competitive advantages. Accordingly, creative thinking, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities are key skills for future world citizens. The cultivation of creativity should also be integrated into subject instruction, so that students develop their lifelong learning and creative attitudes toward life. Many countries are eager to cultivate creative new generations and promote the development of local business and humanistic technological education. It has become a national platform for the new generations of international technological art ( Zhang and Chu, 2016 ). In particular, the traditional productivity-oriented competition model is slowly being transformed to creativity-oriented industries. Innovation capability is likely to bring competitive advantages in the Internet information age. As the field of information technology grows exponentially, innovation capability has become more important. However, if opportunities for development are missed, it can be difficult to catch up as the need for creativity is likely to grow in the foreseeable future.
In this study we focus on student creativity and how it is affected by online problem-solving instruction and identification of attitudes toward instructional strategies. Our purpose is to help the new generation develop creativity and a rich imagination to integrate the power of nature, humanities, and technology.
Literature Review and Hypothesis
Su et al. (2017) proposed that teachers who use effective instructional strategies allow students to successfully negotiate the challenges of life, as effective instructional strategies may enhance students' problem-solving ability. Deeper relationships between teachers and students also result in better learning motivation for students. Art-related activities were used to observe the factors affecting preschool children's problem-solving ability ( Calvo et al., 2018 ). These factors included the cognition of problem goals, the development of perception ability, individual experience, interaction among peers, and resource assistance provided by teachers' instructional strategies. ( LaForce et al., 2017 ) pointed out that identifying problem-related data is an essential step in the problem-solving process, i.e., the process of acquiring data, judging data, reducing data coverage, or linking relevant data ( Wu et al., 2020a ). Teachers' instructional strategies for online problem solving also affect student performance. The following hypothesis was therefore established for this study.
H1: Online problem-solving instruction has a significant positive correlation with identification attitude.
Lu et al. (2017) consider that teachers can enhance students' problem-solving ability and cultivate their problem-finding skills through instructional strategies guiding discussion of current affairs. Instructional strategies and the use of multimedia in technology education can induce students' identification attitudes and learning motivation, ultimately enhancing learning effectiveness and facilitating the development of imagination and creativity. Students with identification attitudes toward strategies could design problem-solving methods using science ( Newhouse, 2017 ). The students understood that innovation was not necessarily the novel creation of “something from nothing” but might involve modification and new development based on existing affairs ( Wu et al., 2020b ). Achilleos et al. (2019) regard attitude toward education instructional strategies as the most important factor in students' creativity learning, where teachers, social and cultural factors, and experience in learning a foreign language revealed significant correlations. Our second hypothesis was therefore presented for this study.
H2: Identification attitude shows strong positive correlations with creativity.
Hsieh et al. (2017) posit that science-related thinking, discovery, and creation can be regarded as the research component of problem solving. Creativity is characterized by keenness, fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration—a kind of mental intelligence to generate distinct new concepts from known experiences or knowledge to solve problems with creative methods. Creativity can also be the application of known information, based on targeted outcomes, to generate novel, unique, and valuable new concepts or a new product or technology, unexplored innovative concepts or problem-solving abilities ( Wu et al., 2021 ). Joachim et al. (2018) consider creativity as a part of problem solving, as problem-solving characteristics often involve novel thinking, strong motivation and determination to present the important status of the solution in the latent process of problem solving. However, Joachim et al.'s (2018) views on creativity and problem-solving have largely been unexplored to date. Novel performance at any level of the creative process could be considered as creation. Rietz et al. (2019) stated that life brings diverse problems and the key to addressing these lies in creativity. Only when people invest more attention in creativity can problems be solved leading to optimum solutions for life's challenges. This gives rise to our third hypothesis.
H3: Online problem-solving instruction reveals strong positive correlations with creativity
Operational definitions, online problem-solving instruction.
Referring to Chen et al. (2019) , the dimensions of online problem-solving instruction in this study were as follows.
1. Exercise example: Examples to illustrate teaching goals are provided as part of teachers' instruction. Students can learn effective problem-solving skills by observing experts' problem-solving interpretation and demonstration step-by-step.
2. Problem orientation: Problem-oriented learning refers to teachers giving carefully-designed situational problems to students, who start from a problem and proceed to problem solving and learning. After self-learning, students participate in team discussion or discussions with teachers. With constant trials, solutions are eventually proposed.
The dimensions for identification attitude toward learning are based on Tang et al. (2019) and contain the following three components.
1. Cognitive component: This refers to an individual's belief in or knowledge of specific matters. The cognition of attitude refers to evaluation of meaning from factual statements presented, i.e., an individual may form an attitude for or against a particular object. For instance, students understand that teachers have rich professional knowledge and can present materials with good organization.
2. Affective component: The affective or emotional component refers to an individual's emotions and feelings, including positive and negative feelings of respect and contempt, like and dislike, sympathy and exclusion. For example, students evaluating a teacher as a friendly person would have positive feelings about the teacher and want to develop that relationship.
3. Behavioral component: Behavior refers to an individual's response tendency to attitude objects, i.e., an individual's explicit behavioral performance when acting in relation to objects. Possible responses include approach, avoidance, or indifference. For instance, students might accept their teachers' arrangement of an activity with respect and actively ask teachers questions.
Kim et al. (2019) consider creativity includes basic cognitive abilities of divergent thinking, and that such abilities can be understood through testing tools or observation.
1. Fluency: Fluency refers to the quantity of a person's concept output, i.e., the ability to generate possible programs or solutions. A student with fluent thinking would propose several responses at the concept generation stage.
2. Flexibility: Flexibility is the ability to change thinking direction, i.e., being able to think of different methods when problems occur, to find out distinct applications or new concepts.
3. Originality: Originality refers to generation of unique and novel ideas, i.e., doing unexpected things or having the ability to see others' points of view.
4. Elaboration: Elaboration is a supplementary idea that refers to the ability to add new ideas to an original concept, i.e., the ability to increase novel concepts or build on existing ideas or basic concepts.
There are 89 colleges and universities in Fujian, China (50 colleges and 39 universities). Students in these institutions in Fujian comprised the research sample, and we distributed 420 copies of our questionnaire to them. After removing invalid and incomplete questionnaires, a total of 363 valid copies were returned, with a response rate of 86%.
This research focused on discussing online problems about teaching and teaching strategies. It used experimental design and online problem solving to do experimental research for 2 hours every week for 24 weeks (48 hours in total). To analyze data from the questionnaire, Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was used. We followed a two-stage analysis of goodness-of-fit and model verification. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) was first executed, aiming to test complex variables in the model by deleting measured variables with negative effects on the cause-and-effect analysis. We then proceeded with path analysis with the modified model. Path analysis aims to estimate the path relationship among variables. Without testing complex variables through CFA, the path analysis might be affected by complex variables resulting in poor goodness-of-fit or an insignificant model path. Amos 18.0 was used in this study for the model fit test. The measurement result of CMIN/DF is considered good if lower than five and excellent if lower than three; Goodness-of-Fit Index (GFI), Adjusted Goodness-of-Fit index (AGFI), Normed Fit Index (NFI), Incremental Fit Index (IFI), Tucker-Lewis Index (TLI), and Comparative Fit Index (CFI) are considered good if higher than 0.9; and Root Mean Square Residual (RMR), Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA), and Standardized Root Mean Square Residual (SRMR) are good if values are lower than 0.05.
Two factors of “exercise example” (eigenvalue = 4.638, α = 0.88) and “problem orientation” (eigenvalue = 3.751, α = 0.85) were extracted from the scale of instructional strategies for online problem solving. The cumulative covariance accounted for was 72.683%. Three factors were extracted from the identification attitude scale: “cognitive component” (eigenvalue = 2.463, α = 0.81), “affective component” (eigenvalue = 1.754, α = 0.83), and “behavioral component” (eigenvalue = 1.491, α = 0.84). The cumulative covariance reached 73.942%. Four factors were extracted from the creativity scale: “fluency” (eigenvalue = 2.461, α = 0.84), “flexibility” (eigenvalue = 2.055, α = 0.82), “originality” (eigenvalue = 1.976, α = 0.87), and “elaboration” (eigenvalue = 1.689, α = 0.86). The cumulative covariance accounted for was 79.317%.
Empirical Analysis of SEM
CFA results indicated the convergent and discriminant validity of the model were first observed, with convergent validity describing the reliability of individually observed variables, construct reliability (CR), and average variances extracted (AVE). Values of more than 0.5 indicate good reliability of individually observed variables. The factor loadings of the observed variables in the empirical analysis model were higher than the suggested value. CR should exceed 0.6, although some researchers suggest that 0.5 or above is acceptable. The model calibration results reveal CR was higher than 0.6, and AVE higher than 0.5, thus conforming to the suggested values.
Regarding the calibration results of structural equations, χ 2 / df , RMSEA, GFI, AGFI, RMR, and NFI were also calculated. For χ 2 / df a standard ≦5 is suggested and χ 2 / df = 2.422 ≦ 5 in this study. The standard for RMSEA is ≦0.08; reported here as 0.044 ≦ 0.08. GFI has a suggested standard of ≧0.9 and here it is reported as 0.951 ≧ 0.9. AGFI's suggested standard ≧0.9; it shows AGFI = 0.927 ≧ 0.9 in this study. RMR has a suggested standard of ≦0.05, and here it was reported as 0.023 ≦ 0.05. The NFI standard is ≧0.9; here it presents NFI = 0.937 ≧ 0.9 in this study. The overall model fit is good. The parameter calibration of the structural equation is shown in Table 1 and Figure 1 . The research results reveal instructional strategies for online problem solving → identification attitude: 0.346 *** , that is, H1 was supported. Identification attitude → creativity: 0.375 *** , that is, H2 was supported, and instructional strategies for online problem solving → creativity: 0.425 *** , that is, H3 was supported.
Table 1 . Structural equation modeling result.
Figure 1 . FigureModel path diagram.
The results show that online instructional strategies for online problem solving can enhance students' creativity. Apparently, an expository teaching style is no longer sufficient to cope with challenges encountered. Rather, teachers need to be willing to constantly learn and change their teaching behavior to cope with the rapid development of new technology and enhance teaching efficiency. When conveying new knowledge to beginners, the provision of exercise examples may help students establish new schema to benefit the application to similar situations. When lacking relevant schema, beginners may try to solve problems with trial and error. In this case, exercise examples with experts demonstrating problem-solving steps could benefit students' learning performance in the new field. Problems studied in real life may facilitate students' creativity, drawing on their existing knowledge as they use available resources and unconsciously apply existing knowledge to enhance creative ability. The solutions to problems are unpredictable but require the ability to cope with interaction between people in a given culture or society in different situations. As a result, teachers should make decisions with the consideration of situational changes in the teaching site, i.e., students' ability, performance and teaching schedule, rather than generalizing across all situations. We do not suggest limiting creative thinking or defining set times for enhancing students' creative thinking. Instead, factors that influence creative efficiency, creative value, and curriculum schedules should be taken into account. As teachers plan their teaching activities, they should pay particular attention to students' academic performance and the vicarious experience of teachers or peers. Uysal (2014) believed people can develop their mental ability through learning even without any creative invention. When we face any new concept, it is better to keep an open mind. That way we will realize there is still a lot to be created ( Fernández et al., 2018 ). Labusch et al. (2019) said the development of creativity is not only creating positive thoughts but also turning these advantages into something more refined and broader. Teachers need to provide learning opportunities that students can apply in their daily lives leading to a re-evaluation of their identification attitudes toward instructional strategies. In this case, enhancing students' self-efficacy may assist them in overcoming learning challenges and cultivating a more positive learning attitude.
The research results demonstrate that online problem solving supports students to examine their ideas, chase after knowledge and continually improve their learning. They can freely develop their imaginations and make choices without being limited to find tools suitable for self-performance. They can concentrate on details, retain memories, and calmly think of more elaborate problem-solving approaches. Students draw on plans and organization to make significant progress in their thinking depth, novelty, flexibility, unique style, and diversity of function. To cultivate students' habits of brainstorming and thinking, they must become familiar with the general use of contextual information, and flexibility to change approaches and seek answers. Training flexible thinking is essential so that students can cope with problems with ease, propose various options and generate solutions. Lumsdaine and Lumsdaine (1995) let students learn from each other and modify their own thought. This transition could help them to achieve their potential. Solitary and monotonous learning material can no longer attract students' attention. Teachers need to provide a wider variety of materials and free choices without limit. They could also find more suitable tools for teaching. Therefore, Treffinger and Isaksen (1992) no longer provide model answers. They want students to explore and develop without any restriction. This could also amplify their personal experience and bring more options into it. It enhances student's uniqueness, and this needs overall growth, subjectively and objectively. People should never venerate one over the other. We should also learn to make good use of the conditions and things we already have. The same thing could have an entirely different outcome depending on how we use it ( Aşik and Erktin, 2019 ). Consequently, problem-solving instruction could assist in the cultivation of creativity in students' practice ability or cultivation of independent thinking and problem-solving ability. Teachers should attempt to create beneficial educational environments, cultivating students' learning interests, and enhancing their mental development. With accumulated experience, students can then be encouraged to develop more flexible skills, sensitive perception, and active thinking along with the ability to appropriately express these experiences. This would provide comprehensive preparation for enhancing students' creative thinking ability. Instructional strategies for online problem solving heavily emphasize cooperative discussion, brainstorming, and presentation. Tasks focusing on students' favorite novels and other relevant interests are valuable for sustaining long-term attention. Success in learning does not simply rely on rich knowledge and skillful techniques; affective attitudes also play an important part. Such characteristics may encourage students to positively and actively face problems and logically enhance their learning attitudes step-by-step.
Data Availability Statement
The raw data supporting the conclusions of this article will be made available by the authors, without undue reservation.
The studies involving human participants were reviewed and approved by the Ethical Committee of the Huaqiao University. The patients/participants provided their written informed consent to participate in this study.
Y-PW performed the initial analyses and approved the submitted version of the manuscript.
Conflict of Interest
The author declares that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article, or claim that may be made by its manufacturer, is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.
The authors thank the reviewers for their valuable comments.
Achilleos, A. P., Mettouris, C., Yeratziotis, A., Papadopoulos, G. A., Pllana, S., Huber, F., et al. (2019). SciChallenge: a social media aware platform for contest-based STEM education and motivation of young students. IEEE Trans. Learn. Technol . 12, 98–111. doi: 10.1109/TLT.2018.2810879
CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar
Aşik, G., and Erktin, E. (2019). Metacognitive experiences: mediating the relationship between metacognitive knowledge and problem solving. Egitim ve Bilim 44, 85–103. doi: 10.15390/EB.2019.7199
Atmatzidou, S., Demetriadis, S., and Nika, P. (2018). How does the degree of guidance support students' metacognitive and problem solving skills in educational robotics? J. Sci. Educ. Technol. 27, 70–85. doi: 10.1007/s10956-017-9709-x
Calvo, I., Cabanes, I., Quesada, J., and Barambones, O. (2018). A multidisciplinary PBL approach for teaching industrial informatics and robotics in engineering. IEEE Trans. Educ . 61, 21–28. doi: 10.1109/TE.2017.2721907
Chen, S.-Y., Lai, C.-F., Lai, Y.-H., and Su Y, S. (2019). Effect of project-based learning on development of students' creative thinking. Int. J. Electr. Eng. Educ . doi: 10.1177/0020720919846808
Fernández, J., Zúñiga, M. E., Rosas, M. V., and Guerrero, R. A. (2018). Experiences in learning problem-solving through computational thinking. J. Comput. Sci. Technol. 18, 136–142. doi: 10.24215/16666038.18.e15
Hao, J., Liu, L., von Davier, A., Kyllonen, P., and Kitchen, C. (2016). “Collaborative problem solving skills vs. collaboration outcomes: findings from statistical analysis and data mining,” in Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Educational Data Mining (Raleigh, NC), 382–387.
Hsieh, J. S. C., Huang, Y.-M., and Wu, W.-C. V. (2017). Technological acceptance of LINE in flipped EFL oral training. Comput. Hum. Behav . 70, 178–190. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2016.12.066
Joachim, V., Spieth, P., and Heidenreich, S. (2018). Active innovation resistance: an empirical study on functional and psychological barriers to innovation adoption in different contexts. Ind. Mark. Manag. 71, 95–107. doi: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2017.12.011
Kim, J., Jordan, S. S., Franklin, C., and Froerer, A. (2019). Is solution-focused brief therapy evidence-based: an update 10 years later. Fam. Soc. 100, 127–138. doi: 10.1177/1044389419841688
Labusch, A., Eickelmann, B., and Vennemann, M. (2019). “Computational thinking processes and their congruence with problem-solving and information processing,” in Proceedings of the Computational Thinking Education , 65–78. doi: 10.1007/978-981-13-6528-7_5
LaForce, M., Noble, E., and Blackwell, C. K. (2017). Problem-based learning (PBL) and student interest in STEM careers: the roles of motivation and ability beliefs. Educ. Sci. 7:92. doi: 10.3390/educsci7040092
Lu, X., Wang, D., and Yu, D. (2017). Effect of solution-focused brief therapy-based on exercise prescription intervention on adolescent mental health. Rev. Argentina de Clin. Psicol . 26, 347–354. doi: 10.24205/03276716.2017.1035
Lumsdaine, E., and Lumsdaine, M. (1995). Creative Problem Solving-Thinking Skills for Changing World . New York, NY: McGRAW-Hill. doi: 10.1109/45.464655
Newhouse, C. (2017). STEM the boredom: engage students in the Australian curriculum using ICT with problem-based learning and assessment. J. Sci. Educ. Technol. 26, 44–57. doi: 10.1007/s10956-016-9650-4
Rietz, T., Benke, I., and Maedche, A. (2019). “The impact of anthropomorphic and functional chatbot design features in enterprise collaboration systems on user acceptance,” in Proceedings of the 14th International Conference Wirtschaftsinformatik (Siegen), 1642-1656.
Su, Y.-S., Ding, T.-J., and Lai, C.-F. (2017). Analysis of students' engagement and learning performance in a social community supported computer programming course. Eurasia J. Math. Sci. Technol. Educ . 13, 6189–6201. doi: 10.12973/eurasia.2017.01058a
Su, Y. S., Yang, J. H., Hwang, W. Y., Huang, S. J., and Tern, M. Y. (2014). Investigating the role of computer-supported annotation in problem solving based teaching: an empirical study of a scratch programming pedagogy. Br. J. Educ. Technol. 45, 647–665. doi: 10.1111/bjet.12058
Tang, K. Y., Hsiao, C. H., and Su, Y. S. (2019). Networking for educational innovations: a bibliometric survey of international publication patterns. Sustainability 11:4608. doi: 10.3390/su11174608
Treffinger, D. J., and Isaksen, S. G. (1992). Creative Problem Solving: An Introduction . Montgomery: Center of Creative Learning, Inc.
Uysal, M. P. (2014). Improving first computer programming experiences: the case of adapting a web-supported and well-structured problem-solving method to a traditional course. Contemp. Educ. Technol . 5, 198–217. doi: 10.30935/cedtech/6125
Wu, T. J., Yuan, K. S., and Yen, D. C. (2021). Leader-member exchange, turnover intention and presenteeism–the moderated mediating effect of perceived organizational support. Curr. Psychol . doi: 10.1007/s12144-021-01825-1
Wu, T. J., Gao, J. Y., Wang, L. Y., and Yuan, K. S. (2020a). Exploring links between polychronicity and job performance from the person–environment fit perspective-the mediating role of well-being. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, 3711–3722. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17103711
PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar
Wu, T. J., Xu, T., Li, L. Q., and Yuan, K. S. (2020b). “Touching with heart, reasoning by truth”! The impact of Brand cues on mini-film advertising effect. Int. J. Advert . 39, 1322–1350. doi: 10.1080/02650487.2020.1755184
Zhang, Y., and Chu, S. K. W. (2016). New ideas on the design of the web-based learning system oriented to problem solving from the perspective of question chain and learning community. Int. Rev. Res. Open Dis. 17, 176–189. doi: 10.19173/irrodl.v17i3.2115
Keywords: online problem, instructional strategies, identification attitude, affective component, creativity
Citation: Wang Y-P (2021) Effects of Online Problem-Solving Instruction and Identification Attitude Toward Instructional Strategies on Students' Creativity. Front. Psychol. 12:771128. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.771128
Received: 05 September 2021; Accepted: 27 September 2021; Published: 14 October 2021.
Copyright © 2021 Wang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
*Correspondence: Yi-Ping Wang, email@example.com
This article is part of the Research Topic
Digital Transformation of Education in the Covid-19 Process and its Psychological Effects on Children
- SUGGESTED TOPICS
- The Magazine
- Managing Yourself
- Managing Teams
- Work-life Balance
- The Big Idea
- Data & Visuals
- Reading Lists
- Case Selections
- HBR Learning
- Topic Feeds
- Account Settings
- Email Preferences
When Your Go-To Problem-Solving Approach Fails
- Cheryl Strauss Einhorn
Eight steps to help you assess what’s not working — and why.
We make decisions all day, every day. The way we make decisions depends largely on context and our own unique problem-solving style. But, sometimes a tough workplace situation turns our usual problem-solving style on its head. Situationality is the culmination of many factors including location, life stage, decision ownership, and team dynamics. To make effective choices in the workplace, we often need to put our well-worn decision-making habits to the side and carefully ponder all aspects of the situation at hand.
Have you ever noticed that when you go home to your parents’ house, no matter what age you are, you make decisions differently than when you’re at work or out with a group of friends? For many of us, this is a familiar and sometimes frustrating experience — for example, allowing our parent to serve us more food than we want to eat. We feel like adults in our day-to-day lives, but when we step into our childhood homes we revert.
- Cheryl Strauss Einhorn is the founder and CEO of Decisive, a decision sciences company using her AREA Method decision-making system for individuals, companies, and nonprofits looking to solve complex problems. Decisive offers digital tools and in-person training, workshops, coaching and consulting. Cheryl is a long-time educator teaching at Columbia Business School and Cornell and has won several journalism awards for her investigative news stories. She’s authored two books on complex problem solving, Problem Solved for personal and professional decisions, and Investing In Financial Research about business, financial, and investment decisions. Her new book, Problem Solver, is about the psychology of personal decision-making and Problem Solver Profiles. For more information please watch Cheryl’s TED talk and visit areamethod.com .
Do You Hate Problem-Solving?
Your emotions can interfere with finding effective solutions..
Posted October 18, 2015 | Reviewed by Jessica Schrader
- What Does "Self Help" Mean?
- Find a therapist near me
Problem-solving is a challenge for many. Facing problems means uncomfortable emotions that most would prefer to avoid. At the same time, solving problems effectively is an important skill to create the life you want to live. Avoiding problems because you hate the process usually means the issue gets worse.
Emotionally sensitive people are often creative problem-solvers. They find solutions that no one else considered but afterward seem so obvious. For some though their natural problem-solving process has been damaged by life situations and they have learned to fear even having a problem to solve.
When you’re emotionally sensitive, critical feedback from those you love can feel like someone dropped a boulder on you. If you have been criticized for the way you’ve solved problems or ideas you had for others, you may be too afraid to offer suggestions or put your thoughts into action.
You may also struggle with the emotions that are part of problem-solving. If you say to yourself, "I don't know what to do," because you are worried that your sister will be upset with you, then the issue is that you don't want to deal with the emotion involved in the solution. Sometimes emotions give us helpful information to consider (such as being sad that you wouldn't have as much time with your granddaughter if you go back to school) and sometimes emotions are blocks to living your best life. Unjustified fear that you will not pass the class is an example of emotions blocking you from implementing a solution. Consider the emotions about a solution separate from the actual solution.
You may have learned over time that you can’t always manage your emotions. When you’re unsure of how you will react to a situation or can’t predict how your emotions will affect your behavior, you avoid new situations and ideas. Sticking to the familiar at least means the world is more predictable. Staying in the familiar may mean avoiding changes that come with solving problems.
Perhaps you have received repeated feedback that you are wrong for the way you think or feel. That happens to emotionally sensitive people. If that’s the case, then you may look to others to determine how valuable or realistic your ideas are or perhaps even depend on others to solve problems believing that you cannot. You’ve learned to be passive.
If your efforts to solve issues in the past have resulted in bigger problems or you’ve been chastised, then you may believe that others can absolutely solve problems for you but you can’t solve your own, that whatever you do will be wrong. You may spend most of your time attempting to get others to solve problems for you. “I don’t know what to do,” or “Tell me what to do, just tell me what to do,” may be your usual reaction.
If you recognize yourself in any of these descriptions, then remember that solving problems is a process that can be learned. The first step is to regulate your emotions so that you can think clearly by using coping skills that are effective for you.
1. Regulate your emotions so you can think clearly.
2. Clearly define the issue. What is the problem you are trying to solve? At this point it’s not about how you feel or your worries about the outcome, it’s just the specific problem you want to solve. For example, “Should I go back to school this semester?” Most of the time you’re not deciding whether to do something at all but whether to do it now. Recognizing that the decision could be different at another time is part of problem-solving.
3. List the obvious solutions. Then list all the options you can imagine. There’s “yes” and “no” of course. There’s also return to school for one class, full-time, or on-line or seek tutoring. You might want to check into an independent study or an internship. You might want to volunteer to help someone who knows what you want to learn.
Sometimes getting ideas from others can be helpful.
4. List the pros and cons for each option. Include what you can’t do if you choose each option. The cost of full-time school might mean you can’t travel or you won’t be able to go out with your friends as often.
Consider your emotional reactions here. Are your emotions justified?
Does your solution get you closer to the life you want to live? You can work backward to evaluate your solution.
5. Choose one or two options to troubleshoot. What could get in your way of putting the solution to work? If your emotional reactions to someone not liking your decisions are part of what might get in your way, how will you manage that? One way is to remember your life is worth living goal and that this solution gets you closer. Reread your pros and cons.
6. If your first solution doesn't work out, then try another option. Problem-solving often means trial and error and being flexible.
Even when you go through the process carefully, sometimes the solutions don't work. It's easy to become discouraged, particularly if you're emotionally sensitive. Be mindful that discouragement is often a natural part of the problem-solving process. Information you gain from what doesn't work can help you make your next effort better.
Karyn Hall, Ph.D. , is the author of The Emotionally Sensitive Person, Mindfulness Exercises, and co-author of The Power of Validation.
- Find a Therapist
- Find a Treatment Center
- Find a Psychiatrist
- Find a Support Group
- Find Teletherapy
- United States
- Brooklyn, NY
- Chicago, IL
- Houston, TX
- Los Angeles, CA
- New York, NY
- Portland, OR
- San Diego, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- Seattle, WA
- Washington, DC
- Bipolar Disorder
- Chronic Pain
- Eating Disorders
- Passive Aggression
- Goal Setting
- Positive Psychology
- Stopping Smoking
- Low Sexual Desire
- Child Development
- Therapy Center NEW
- Diagnosis Dictionary
- Types of Therapy
The people around us have a stronger influence on our decisions and actions than we realize. Here’s what research reveals about our networks’ gravitational force.
- Coronavirus Disease 2019
- Affective Forecasting
7 Steps of Problem-Solving & Analytical Thinking
Table of Contents
We are in the middle of a pandemic, or so it has been defined. This is our current global problem, which affects us all. This is where we needed problem-solving skills and a high level of analytical thinking more than ever.
But it wasn’t there!
What we witnessed worldwide is the lack of problem-solving expertise, analytical thinking, and emotional intelligence , which made things far worse than they could have been.
The “human ecology” or the collective level of response didn’t allow the attitude, the thinking, the emotions, the necessary agreement, and the environment that would solve the problem.
I would express here that even without having prescribed medicine and vaccine we would have been 70-80% passed this crisis had there been true teamwork and problem-solving skills.
What is Problem-Solving?
We usually define something to be a problem when things don’t happen as we think they should or what we expect them to be, which are sometimes “Out of the box” unexpected events that throw us out of our comfort zone.
So before we approach problem-solving let’s make sure we clear assumptions and expectations out of the way. Because they will deliver to us a distorted picture of what the case is.
And these words “what the case is” are at the very core of the analytical thinking that is essential to problem-solving.
When it comes to understanding what problem-solving is about we enter a fascinating world that requires an understanding of the big picture of analytical thinking.
We need to have a lot of information to understand what we are dealing with & What The Cae Is!
Not biased perception, but facts, data, facts, data, facts, data…need I continue?
The main parameter concerning problem-solving is the ability to think outside the box , which in itself requires training and personal development.
The questions need to be asked: What does it mean to think out of the box?
- What is it made of?
- How do you get out of it if all your life you are in it?
- What training does it require?
- Are you willing to invest in your own development?
- Is your organization willing to invest in your training?
You’ll understand from this article that the first thing about problem-solving & Analytical thinking is that the solution to the problem can’t be found where the problem is.
So you need to understand the nature of the environment where the problem grew.
In other words, the soil that grows the seed of the problem is not the soil that grows the seed of the solution.
Attitude is key to a successful Problem-solving process.
The first attitude to have is that when we see a problem we only see a manifestation & a symptom of something, not the cause . This is what a wise problem-solving leader would think.
They would understand that because they are looking at a symptom and not a cause, they need to figure out what circumstances gave “birth” to the problem.
Therefore such a leader will be not tempted to suffice with “bandage solutions”, which offers short-term solutions only.
Another important part of the attitude of problem-solving is the emotions we bring to the table to support analytical thinking.
We can bring worry & fear (often the case) which limits the scope of our ability to analyze the problem which will limit our perception
We can bring ambition which may well have the same result. There’s a saying “ambition is blind”, which is a state of mind of wanting something so much that one misses the obvious.
Or, we can bring belief, hope, encouragement, teamwork togetherness, positive thinking, empathy, and carefulness, all of which, will increase perception, understanding, and the ability to bring the best solution to a problem.
Then there is neutrality. Huge personal development affects the level of problem-solving in a huge way.
This first means being cool, steady, factual, somewhat aloof (creating space between you and the problem), and seeing it for what it is. (Wise saying… “the heart of the matter can only be seen from afar”)
Often times we encounter problems that simply need not doing anything and others doing everything. So…keep it simple! Don’t get personally involved. Zoom out and look at what is going on neutrally, as if it doesn’t concern you.
Your ability to do so will help you engage in analytical thinking of the highest level without interference of the wrong emotions.
This “zoom-out” in an uninvolved way attitude opens up to the big picture of what is possible without being sucked into the problem or into the environment where the problem arose.
That is precisely the attitude that is most effective in problem-solving.
When you get the attitude right you are on the right track because your emotions and thinking will align to form a body of intelligence that allows you to see more, think strategically and understand the depth of the problem.
7 Steps to Problem-Solving
- Locate the problem – Understand the problem thoroughly, which means what actually caused it
- Engage in short term and long term analytical thinking
- Critical Thinking – Ask open-ended questions to reveal the big picture- Why and What questions.
- Avoid How question before you thoroughly understood What and Why questions
- Remember that solving a problem is measured by long term solutions
- Protect your problem-solving by making sure that you don’t provide the problem with a fertile ground to grow in the future.
- Revaluate the process by connecting emotional intelligence to analytical thinking. In other words, make sure that your problem-solving process makes sense and feels right.
Step 1 – Locate & Understand The Problem
Why do you do what you do.
Before you engage in problem-solving give yourself space to thoroughly understand the problem. Surround it with new ways of looking at it even if you encountered it before.
Very important in this is to think now first before you go back to your experience.
Intelligence seemingly comes from nowhere if you give space to the problem “to talk to you”.
Firefighters often tell about fires that talk to them. It may sound strange but it is because humans have a 6th sense and they often use it minimally because they rush forward prematurely.
Step 2 – Long term Vs. Short Term
The short term problem-solving is always very different from the long term considerations. These two aspects should be evaluated separately.
Otherwise what seems to be a success in the short term can, and often will, will amount to a total failure in the long term.
Step 3 – Critical Thinking
Focus your analytical thinking on the question of “WHY” after you gather the facts…pure facts, not biased.
Ask WHY in all possible ways. Take nothing for granted even if you think you know the answer.
The Reason Why You Do What You Do is the most critical to the problem-solving process. It is your motivating Engine to move forward.
I have trained thousands of professionals worldwide and I have discovered that they often neglect the required analytical thinking process that would reveal the big picture of considerations that should precede action.
Instead, the process is “hot-wired” and actions are pursued prematurely, not realizing reality has changed. It changes these days very quickly.
It seems that the adrenaline of “Doing” trumps the wisdom of “Being”.
They should be a 50/50 partnership. Being is the analytical thinking part Doing is the solution part.
We all hear 3-4-year-old toddlers constantly asking the question WHY? Why this, why that, an unending curiosity that seems to be a natural process of growth and development.
Obviously, there’s a mental hunger to understand the process behind the process, to understand what moves things, they want to understand the Context .
It is obviously a natural & instinctive process with every child. Why does it mostly disappear in adult life?
The answer is pressured from inside and outside. Mostly inside. You just need to overcome that aspect if you want to excel in problem-solving.
That means that if your reason is powerful enough it will make your action extremely effective.
Step 4 – Avoid How questions
How questions can be very deceptive as they imply that if you know how to do something you can do it.
It implies that solutions are linear. I can tell you for sure, after over 25 years of training professionals in problem- solving that that is not the case!
So ask Why and What questions because they will get you to the big picture and will reveal a lot more than How questions.
I hear people always ask “How Do I Do That” and “How do I get from A & B” and I ask them “why do you want to get to B from A?”
After being mildly irritated at my seemingly juvenile question they start discovering a whole wealth of intelligence that they didn’t see before.
How questions tend to hotwire the process of problem-solving by neglecting the Being of analytical thinking part and rush to Doing .
Solutions take time to appear, especially if you get to really understand the problem and not what it seems to be.
Step 5 – “Long Term” First…Always
Decision-making and problem-solving should always look at the long-term consequences before it moves to action.
What is the point of affecting a short term solution that will defeat the long-term?
Long-term analytical thinking will mean that it takes professional training and development that is able to gain perceptions not readily available.
Long term consequences are hidden compared to short term analysis that seems to be obvious.
You need to always think about how these 2 connect when you engage in problem-solving .
Step 6 – Protect Your Problem-Solving Process By Understanding The Fertile Ground Concept
Part of the long-term solution is to learn from the problem-solving process and result so as to prevent the growth of the seed of the problem, so it won’t reappear.
This is based on the logic that a problem is only but a symptom of what caused it. Part of understanding the problem is to understand what caused that which requires neutral analytical thinking without hiding anything.
So get to understand the conditions that Fed the problem and make sure that part of your long-term problem solving is not to let the same “earth growing” conditions reappear.
This understanding of the “fertile ground” concept is characterized by long-term backward analysis. You look as far back as possible to understand the conditions that allowed the problem to appear.
Step 7 – Reevaluation…Common Sense And Emotional Intelligence
“Don’t leave home without it!” Make sure that before you act on your solutions that you thoroughly review the problem-solving process and checked how you feel about the whole thing. If it feels right, not perfect, proceed to the execution state.
If it doesn’t, don’t! Allow your feelings space and voice in your problem-solving process. They have a lot to tell.
7 Steps to Critical Thinking
Problem-solving requires the essential skill of critical thinking, without which you will be missing a fundamental ingredient.
Critical Thinking that includes reasons that empower actions requires a thinking process, which has the following 7 ingredients:
- Consider the situation anew, start Now, and only then look at past experience
- Takes into account facts (not opinions)
- Evaluate short and long-term consequences for intended actions before you do anything
- Consider worse, best, and likely scenarios
- Make sure that you prioritize your reasons and that they don’t reflect your comfort zone
- Make sure that the reasons are connected to a genuine need (not just a wish)
- Make sure that the reasons are connected to a greater purpose. Take for example the story of the 5ft 5 inches 140 lbs mother who had to save her son from underneath a car, and alone was able to lift over 2000 pounds of metal!!! No way she could ever do it if it wasn’t critical.
The point is that Critical Thinking can connect us to an extraordinary level of intelligence and abilities. That is How to develop Critical Thinking !
What Is Critical Thinking About In The Corporate Level
It is important to note here that it works in exactly the same way at the corporate level.
When it comes to problem-solving in the corporate world if you and your team need to come to a decision, you had better make sure you engage your critical thinking process before making any decision.
It very often makes all the difference between success and failure….and mind you, very often what seems to be a short-term success is a long-term failure.
Your reasons and motives must be sound to have the power and energy to carry you through to success.
The key understanding is, that the level of reason and motive behind the intended action will be expressed through the action. The better the reason, the better the execution level. Always!
Critical Thinking Optimized Through Healthy Teamwork
My advice…try to engage critical thinking in a think-tank, within a group dynamic.
Teamwork is the best scenario to think through issues thoroughly. That depends, of course, on the level of trust and openness that exists in a team.
Teamwork, as it should be, is the best arena for the smart decision-making process. It can minimize the margin for error and prevent falling into unnecessary traps.
Please understand that problem-solving is a holistic process and not some linear one-dimensional analysis.
Real problem-solving is an opportunity to get a fresh understanding of possibly recurring problems and a way to affect real changes.
It is a panoramic view of a big picture that can possibly solve many problems before they appear.
My experience in training professionals in different organizations around the world that when problem-solving is done right it contributes to the changing organizational culture and bringing the leadership and the workforce closer to each other.
It can alter perceptions and make leadership much more relevant to the success of the organization.
Care of a leader always shows up in their problem-solving attitude, their thoroughness, and attention to detail.
The Thinking Coach Leadership Training Seminars which are part of a broad Soft Skills Corporate Training Programs take professionals through a series of workshop exercises to achieve a critical thinking state of mind that helps professionals engage in a high-level of decision-making & problem-solving.
These seminars are absolutely essential in these times of change and make a real difference in the quest for Critical Thinking.
What makes the Thinking Coach Leadership Development Training Courses programs unique is that whatever the course is about it always redefines in a higher level what teamwork is about in the organization.
The ability to engage in critical thinking in problem-solving for an organization depends on the level of teamwork that can be exhibited.
Regardless what the soft skill territory that I train professionals, and as excellent as that seminar may be, the deciding factor of whether or not the learned skills will be incorporated and applied comes down to the level of teamwork in the organization.
The Life Coach for Professionals™
Image source: Needpix
Pingback: A Paradigm Shift In Thinking About "What Is A Success"
Pingback: What The Decision-Making Process Is About- A Paradigm Shift In Attitude -1
Pingback: Improve Your Performance at Work - 3 Creative Tips - The Thinking Coach
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and site URL in my browser for next time I post a comment.
- Published: 25 August 2015
Relationship Among Students’ Problem-Solving Attitude, Perceived Value, Behavioral Attitude, and Intention to Participate in a Science and Technology Contest
- Neng-Tang Norman Huang 1 ,
- Li-Jia Chiu 1 &
- Jon-Chao Hong 2
International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education volume 14 , pages 1419–1435 ( 2016 ) Cite this article
The strong humanistic and ethics-oriented philosophy of Confucianism tends to lead people influenced by these principles to undervalue the importance of hands-on practice and creativity in education. GreenMech, a science and technology contest, was implemented to encourage real-world, hands-on problem solving in an attempt to mitigate this effect. The self-reported attitudes, values, and intentions of 684 GreenMech participants from elementary, junior high, and senior high schools in Taiwan were subjected to confirmatory analysis with structural equation modeling to test the hypothesized model. The research findings revealed that the students’ problem-solving attitude is positively correlated to their perception of their own knowledge enrichment and thinking-skill enhancement as a result of participating in GreenMech. The findings also suggest that these perceived advantages positively influenced the intention to participate in future contests. This indicates that a highly competitive contest can be used to promote awareness of opportunities, which may enhance thinking skills and enrich knowledge.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution .
Buy single article.
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT (Russian Federation)
Rent this article via DeepDyve.
Adey, P., Csapó, B., Demetriou, A., Hautamaki, J. & Shayer, M. (2007). Can we be intelligent about intelligence? Why education needs the concept of plastic general ability. Educational Research Review, 2 , 75–97.
Article Google Scholar
Ahern, T., Leavy, B. & Byrne, P. J. (2014). Knowledge formation and learning in the management of projects: A problem solving perspective. International Journal of Project Management, 32 (8), 1423–1431.
Aschbacher, P. R., Ing, M. & Tsai, S. M. (2014). Is science me? Exploring middle school students’ STE-M career aspirations. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 23 (6), 735–743.
Avsec, S., Rihtarsic, D. & Kocijancic, S. (2014). A predictive study of learner attitudes toward open learning in a robotics class. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 23 (5), 692–704.
Bhattacherjee, A. (2001). Understanding information systems continuance: An expectation–confirmation model. MIS Quarterly, 25 (3), 351–370.
Bøe, M. V. & Henriksen, E. K. (2015). Expectancy-value perspectives on choice of science and technology education in late-modern societies. In E. K. Henriksen, J. Dillon & J. Ryder (Eds.), Understanding student participation and choice in science and technology education (pp. 17–29). Singapore: Springer.
Boyce, C., Mishra, C., Halverson, K. & Thomas, A. (2014). Getting students outside: Using technology as a way to stimulate engagement. Journal of Science Education and Technology . doi: 10.1007/s10956-014-9514-8 . Advance online publication .
Byrne, B. M. (2001). Structural equation modeling with AMOS: Basic concepts, applications and programming . Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Cowie, B., Jones, A. & Otrel-Cass, K. (2011). Re-engaging students in science: Issues of assessment, funds of knowledge and sites for learning. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 9 (2), 347–366.
Cureton, E. E. (1957). The upper and lower twenty-seven per cent rule. Psychometrika, 22 , 293–296.
DeBacker, T. K. & Nelson, R. M. (1999). Variations on an expectancy-value model of motivation in science. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 24 (2), 71–94.
Demirel, M. & Turan, A. B. (2010). The effects of problem based learning on achievement, attitude, metacognitive awareness and motivation. Journal of Education, 38 , 55–66.
Dewey, J. (1966). Democracy and education . New York, NY: MacMillan.
Dionne, L., Reis, G., Trudel, L., Guillet, G., Kleine, L. & Hancianu, C. (2012). Students’ sources of motivation for participating in science fairs: An exploratory study within the Canada-wide science fair 2008. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 10 (3), 669–693.
Eccles, J. S. (1983). Expectancies, values, and academic behaviors. In J. T. Spence (Ed.), Achievement and achievement motives: Psychological and sociological approaches (pp. 75–146). San Francisco, CA: W. H. Freeman.
Eccles, J. S., Barber, B. L., Updegraff, K. & O’Brien, K. M. (1998). An expectancy-value model of achievement choices: The role of ability self-concepts, perceived task utility and interest in predicting activity choice and course enrollment. In L. Hoffman, A. Krapp, K. A. Renninger & J. Baumert (Eds.), Interest and learning: Proceedings of the Seeon conference on interest and gender (pp. 267–280). Kiel, Germany: IPN.
Gider, F., Likar, B., Kern, T. & Miklavcic, D. (2012). Implementation of a multidisciplinary professional skills course at an electrical engineering school. IEEE Transactions on Education, 55 (3), 332–340.
Green, S. B. & Salkind, N. (2004). Using SPSS for Windows and Macintosh: Analyzing and understanding data (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Guo, J., Marsh, H. W., Parker, P. D., Morin, A. J. S. & Yeung, A. S. (2015). Expectancy-value in mathematics, gender and socioeconomic background as predictors of achievement and aspirations: A multi-cohort study. Learning and Individual Differences, 37 , 161–168.
Hair, J. F., Jr., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J. & Anderson, R. E. (2010). Multivariate data analysis (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Haluk, O. Z. (2008). The influence of computer-assisted instruction on students’ conceptual understanding of chemical bonding and attitude toward chemistry: A case for Turkey. Computers & Education, 51 , 423–438.
Han, S., Capraro, R. & Capraro, M. (2014). How science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (TEEM) project-based learning (PBL) affects high, middle, and low achievers differently: The impact of student factors on achievement factors on achievement. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education . doi: 10.1007/s10763-014-9526-0 . Advance online publication .
Heppner, P. P. (1988). The problem solving inventory: Manual . Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
Himmelfarb, S. (1993). The measurement of attitudes. In A. H. Eagly & S. Chaiken (Eds.), The psychology of attitudes . Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Hong, J. C. & Hwang, M. Y. (2012). Gender differences in help-seeking and supportive dialogue during online game. Social and Behavioral Sciences, 64 , 342–351.
Hong, J. C., Chen, M. Y. & Hwang, M. Y. (2013). Vitalizing creative learning in science and technology through an extracurricular club: A perspective based on activity theory. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 8 , 45–55.
Hong, J. C., Hwang, M. Y., Chen, M. Y. & Liu, L. C. (2013). Using eight trigrams (BaGua) approach with epistemological practice to vitalize problem-solving processes: A confirmatory analysis of R&D managers. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 7 , 187–197.
Hu, L. T. & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6 (1), 1–55.
Kline, R. B. (2010). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Koyuncu, I., Akyuz, D. & Cakiroglu, E. (2014). Investigating plane geometry problem-solving strategies of prospective mathematics teachers in technology and paper-and-pencil environments. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education . doi: 10.1007/s10763-014-9510-8 . Advance online publication .
Law, K. M. Y., Lee, V. C. S. & Yu, Y. T. (2010). Learning motivation in e-learning facilitated computer programming courses. Computers & Education, 55 (1), 218–228.
Levin, B. B. (2001). Energizing teacher education and professional development with problem-based learning . Alexandria, VA: Association Supervision and Curriculum Development.
MacCallum, R. C. & Hong, S. (1997). Power analysis in covariance structure modeling using GFI and AGFI. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 32 , 193–210.
Mayer, R. E. (1992). Thinking, problem solving, cognition (2nd ed.). New York, NY: W. H. Freeman.
Molden, D. C., Plaks, J. E. & Dweck, C. S. (2006). “Meaningful” social inferences: Effects of implicit theories on inferential processes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42 , 738–752.
Mulaik, S. A., James, L. R., Van Alstine, J., Bennett, N., Lind, S. & Stilwell, C. D. (1989). Evaluation of goodness-of-fit indices for structural equation models. Psychological Bulletin, 105 (3), 430–445.
National Research Council (2009). In P. Bell, B. Lewenstein, A. W. Shouse & M. A. Feder (Eds.), Learning science in informal environments: People, places, and pursuits . Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
Nunnally, J. C. (1978). Psychometric theory . New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Refsgaard, J. C. & Henriksen, H. J. (2004). Modelling guidelines: Terminology and guiding principles. Advances in Water Resources, 27 , 71–82.
So, W. M. W. (2003). Learning science through investigations: An experience with Hong Kong primary school children. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 1 (2), 175–200.
So, W. M. W. (2013). Connecting mathematics and science in primary science inquiry. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 11 (2), 385–406.
Stuart, J. S. (2002). College tutors: A fulcrum for change? International Journal of Educational Development, 22 , 367–379.
Treffinger, D. J., Selby, E. C. & Isaksen, S. G. (2008). Understanding individual problem-solving style: A key to learning and applying creative problem solving. Learning and Individual Differences, 18 , 390–401.
Veenman, M. V., Elshout, J. & Busato, V. (1994). Metacognitive mediation in learning with computer-based simulations. Computers in Human Behavior, 10 (1), 93–106.
Wang, Y. & Chiew, V. (2010). On the cognitive process of human problem solving. Cognitive Systems Research, 11 (1), 81–92.
Whitworth, S. & Berson, M. J. (2003). Computer technology in the social studies: An examination of the effectiveness literature (1996–2001). Contemporary Issues of Technology and Teacher Education, 2 (4), 472–509.
Wigfield, A. & Eccles, J. S. (2000). Expectancy–value theory of motivation. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25 , 68–81.
Woo, Y. & Reeves, T. C. (2007). Meaningful interaction in web-based learning: A social constructivist interpretation. The Internet and Higher Education, 10 (1), 15–25.
Yong, J. K., Jae, U. C. & Jaeki, S. (2009). Investigating the role of attitude in technology acceptance from an attitude strength perspective. International Journal of Information Management, 29 , 67–77.
Zhu, X. & Chen, A. (2010). Adolescent expectancy-value motivation and learning: A disconnected case in physical education. Learning and Individual Differences, 20 (5), 512–516.
This research is partially supported by the “Aim for the Top University Project” sponsored by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, ROC, under Grant no. MOST 104-2911-I-003-301 and NSC 102-2511-S-003-030-MY2. The authors would like to express their appreciation to Dr. Todd Milford, University of Victoria, and mentors Professor Larry D. Yore and Shari Yore for their assistance in preparing the report of this research study.
Authors and affiliations.
Department of Technology Application and Human Resource Development, National Taiwan Normal University, 162 HePing East Road, Section 1, Taipei, Taiwan
Neng-Tang Norman Huang & Li-Jia Chiu
Department of Industrial Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan
You can also search for this author in PubMed Google Scholar
Correspondence to Li-Jia Chiu .
Appendix: Examples of Application of Scientific Principles
Rights and permissions.
Reprints and Permissions
About this article
Cite this article.
Huang, NT.N., Chiu, LJ. & Hong, JC. Relationship Among Students’ Problem-Solving Attitude, Perceived Value, Behavioral Attitude, and Intention to Participate in a Science and Technology Contest. Int J of Sci and Math Educ 14 , 1419–1435 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-015-9665-y
Received : 16 December 2014
Accepted : 19 July 2015
Published : 25 August 2015
Issue Date : December 2016
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-015-9665-y
Share this article
Anyone you share the following link with will be able to read this content:
Sorry, a shareable link is not currently available for this article.
Provided by the Springer Nature SharedIt content-sharing initiative
- Behavioral attitude and intention
- Enhancing thinking skills
- Expectancy-value theory
- Knowledge enrichment
- Problem-solving attitude
- Find a journal
- Publish with us
An official website of the United States government
The .gov means it’s official. Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.
The site is secure. The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.
- Account settings
- Advanced Search
- Journal List
Assessing the attitude and problem-based learning in mathematics through PLS-SEM modeling
School of Education, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an, P.R. China
All relevant data are within the manuscript and its Supporting Information files.
Mathematics plays a leading part in day-to-day life and has enhanced a necessary component for human accomplishments. Students from many countries do not reach the expected level in mathematics. Therefore, it is essential to pay close consideration to the causes related to ability in mathematics. Mathematics attitude is considered as one of the critical variables in the process of mathematics learning. This study aimed to determine students’ attitudes and achievements through problem-based learning in mathematics. The selected study group contained 600 students and 35 teachers from rural public secondary schools in District Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The data collection was done using questionnaires from students and teachers and collected data analyzed by SPSS 23 and Amos 23. This study’s result was carried out using Partial Least square structural equation Model (PLS-SEM), descriptive analysis, and hypotheses testing. The outcomes in this study indicated that the mean fluctuated between 1 to 4.5, 3.71 to 4.20, and Std. Deviation fluctuated between 0.6 to 2.0 and 0.75 to 1.55 in the students and teacher models, respectively. The results of the PLS-SEM students’ model show a negative attitude towards mathematics. The teachers’ PLS-SEM model showed the Effects of using problem-based learning (PBL) on students’ achievements. According to the hypotheses testing, the acceptance of hypotheses by stating that the Confidence in Learning Mathematics Scale (C), Value of Mathematics Scale (V), and Student Mathematics Motivation Scale (M) are significant effects for the Students’ Attitude Toward Problem-Based Learning (ATPBL). But the Attitude Toward Enjoyment in Mathematics Scale (AE) was rejected, and it did not significantly affect the ATPBL. As well as, the Problem-solving learning and students’ achievement (PLA), Advantages of problem-solving learning (APL) and Difficulties in using problem-solving learning (DPL) have a significant positive effect on the ATPBL. Finally, this study suggested that teachers also adopt new teaching methods corresponding to mathematics, and there is a need to explore particular mathematics skills to enhance students’ learning abilities.
The most imperative things about societies are their learning ability, and learning is a necessary behaviour in life through genetic intelligence and the environment. There has been a lot of advances in educational technology in the last few decades [ 1 ]. Learning ability constantly impact the human lifestyle. As well as it is, in both developed and developing economies, entrepreneurship is considered vibrant to the nation’s competitive ability and a high-powered resource for decreasing regional inequities thereby allowing the development of the country [ 2 , 3 ]. According to that, the knowledge capabilities of an individual affect the student’s way of life continually [ 4 ]. Scribbling, painting and drawing perform ana significant part in the growing up of children [ 5 , 6 ] and it is helping to build their knowledge, personality like that. Consequently, human societies attempt to increase the method of learning in education unceasingly. As well, the ability is the core dimension of personality between learning preferences and cognitive forms. It can be defined as the preferred personal method to collect and process information, decisions, interests, ideas, and attitudes [ 3 ].
Mathematics plays a dominant role in human lives, and it is broadly applied as an essential element in personal achievements and economics [ 7 , 8 ]. In the 21st century, mathematics plays a significant skill in individual satisfaction and involvement in society, school, and the labour market. It appears to be a key academic filter for students’ educational trajectories [ 9 ]. Mathematics plays an essential role in supporting people to grow to reason, problem-solving skills, and thinking, and the importance of mathematics in the education system has gradually increased. Not only that, the impact of students’ mathematics achievements, including students’ ability, family socioeconomic status (SES), curriculum, many factors, peer influence, parental participation, school environment, and teachers’ quality [ 10 , 11 ]. By taking a positive attitude towards mathematics, students will think that mathematics is fundamental, so they try to enhance their performance in mathematics [ 7 ]. However, learning mathematics has grown into a challenge for most students today. Lack of learning despair motivates many students to say, "I am not good at mathematics", even before trying to solve mathematical problems [ 11 ]. Hence, teachers have a significant part in enhancing students’ mathematics achievement [ 10 ]. Emotional understanding, belief, and attitude are three major categories in the effective field of mathematics education [ 12 ].
However, recent worldwide determinations showed that students from many countries do not accomplish as anticipated in mathematics [ 13 ]. Therefore, one must pay close attention to the factors related to mastering mathematics and attitudes are one of the variables that can play a crucial role in learning mathematics [ 7 ].
The recent regeneration of mathematics education has brought new requirements. These provide students with meaningful activities that allow them to share their information in society. Various learning approaches focus on actions are used mainly in primary schools. One method is "problem-based learning" (PBL), which is a skill-based learning technique used to investigate and solve complicated real-life difficulties [ 14 ]. Most of the newest studies on PBL accentuate that it is a technique to enable students to enthusiastically play the part of learners. Most of the studies on PBL focus on teaching in different fields of education. These studies focus on mathematics education, science, engineering, and medicine [ 15 ]. Kaptan [ 16 ] documented that the PBL method is very important for students to improve the skills and knowledge learned in mathematics class to their daily issues and daily life. Theoretically, PBL is based on constructivism, and its instructional design method is based on problem-solving and "contextual learning" [ 14 ]. In general, PBL is considered to contribute to increasing and maintaining academic success [ 17 ] increase performance abilities [ 18 ] have a confident impact on attitudes towards classes [ 15 ], self-learning abilities and improve communication, as well as independent working abilities and motivation, and produce more reasonable explanations to problems [ 19 ]. Therefore, students’ attitudes toward mathematics have been researching worldwide for several decades [ 20 ].
2. Theoretical reviews
Attitude is "a learned inclination on the part of an individual to respond positively or negatively to the concept, situation, some object, or another person" [ 21 ]. Thus, the attitude towards mathematics can be an aggregation of mathematical emotions and beliefs. Allport [ 22 ] defines an attitude as "a mental or neural state of readiness, prepared over practice, applying a directive or dynamic effect upon the individuals’ feedback to all objects and circumstances with which it is associated". Adediwura [ 23 ] describes attitude as a persons’ positive, neutral or negative thinking about mathematics. A positive attitude is very instructive because research shows that there is a link between student performance and their attitude toward mathematics [ 24 ]. Students who have a positive attitude toward mathematics have better problem-solving abilities and are better able to resolve unusual difficulties [ 25 ]. They capitalize more energy in solved problems and give up when the problem cannot be solved. Attitude is also be interchanged with personality and is recognized as a multidimensional structure, including self-confidence or anxiety, such as enjoyment or not, commitment or avoidance, beliefs about whether mathematics is difficult or easy, unimportant or important, uninteresting, interesting, and useless [ 12 ]. Köğce [ 26 ] showed that the mathematics attitude is subjective in some factors, and it can be considered as several groups: firstly, reasons connected with the student, secondly, reasons associated to the teacher and school, and finally reasons related to the society and environment. Reasons related to the students’ mathematical results, their past practices [ 27 ], and social image of the mathematics. Not only that, but the reasons also related with the teachers and their content of knowledge, resources used in the classroom, the teaching methods, personality, teaching topics with real-life enriched examples [ 28 ], and the teachers’ attitude towards mathematics. Therefore, their teachers’ attitudes influence students’ attitudes [ 29 ]; teachers’ wrong beliefs about mathematics powerfully affect their teaching practices [ 30 ]. As well as it is vital to improving a positive attitude towards mathematics between students and teachers.
There have been a lot of improvements in educational technology in the last few decades [ 1 ] like online education. Students can use this technology any subject areas (especially mathematics) to improve their knowledge. But empirical studies have found that students feel that they learn better in physical classrooms than through online education [ 31 ]. Hence, Educational technology is affecting the students and teachers’ attitude toward problem-based learning mathematics.
In recent times, many researchers have pointed out the student attitude and teachers’ attitude towards problem-based learning in mathematics in several cities /countries around the world. The attitude towards mathematics has been considered for past years and shows a high relationship between attitude (including motivation, enjoyment, and self-confidence) and mathematical performance. Mezirow [ 32 ] defines learning as a cycle that starts from experience, continues to reflect, and leads to action, which becomes the experience of reflection. Valkenburg [ 33 ] found that children give their attention very rapidly to media content that was only moderately various from their existing capabilities and knowledge and teachers should give their attention for that [ 34 ]. Attitude towards mathematics is the students’ and teachers’ prepared preference to behave, perceive, feel, and think towards mathematics. Many studies have been established to assess the effect in mathematics [ 35 ].
Yılmaz [ 28 ] presented a positive and vital association between students’ attitudes towards mathematics use and mathematics accomplishment. Secondly [ 36 ], proposed a progressive connection between mathematics accomplishment and mathematics attitudes. They revealed that scholars improve attitudes, ideas, and feelings about school subjects from different sources. Thirdly, Colomeischi [ 37 ] analyzed a correlation between learning style and gender, attitude towards mathematics, and mathematical achievement. Thus, Bayaga [ 38 ] explained the students’ attitudes toward mathematics achievement using a variety of factors (attitude, mathematics self-concept, school condition, family background, teaching, and parent’s educational level) and approaches. We’ve looked into the relationship between math attitude and mathematics performance. A positive relationship between attitudes toward mathematics and academic achievement has been established in the majority of studies conducted across a range of age groups. According to some of the findings, having a negative attitude toward mathematics is associated with minor academic consequences in college students [ 39 , 40 ] and children [ 7 ]. However, in addition to doing so, Zsoldos-Marchis [ 24 ] investigated the problem-solving potential of various primary preschool teachers’ attitudes toward mathematics.
Moreover, Russo [ 41 ] documented the association between math teachers’ enjoyment and attitudes toward student struggle and the number of times teachers spent teaching math. There are more methods developed around the world to analyze attitudes towards mathematics. Among them, one of the most well-known analysis methods is the Partial Least Structural Equation Model (PLS-SEM), and it is a flexible modeling method without data distribution assumptions. It is also essential and suitable for various education analyses. The main aim of this study was to estimate the student attitude and teachers’ attitudes towards problem-based learning in mathematics.
3.1. participants and data collection.
The study population comprised 3,300 secondary mathematics students and 35 mathematics teachers in District Rawalpindi’s 35 rural public secondary schools. The population is the mathematics students and teachers in North Punjab District Rawalpindi Government Areas as of the 2020/2021 academic session. This study selected the North Punjab district because the schools and education system are better than other areas. Moreover, belonging to the Rawalpindi district so it will be convenient to access the schools. This study selected rural schools because, in mathematics, 10 th class students score low compared to urban schools.
First, purposive sampling will be used in identifying and selecting schools that meet the following criteria:
- Evidence of continuous presentation of candidates for external examination in mathematics.
- Availability of qualified mathematics teachers who used the problem-based learning method in their class.
- Availability of teacher’s students and schools who agree to this study. Due to religious, cultural, regional, and local barriers.
The current study was approved by the Educational Research Ethics committee from the School of Education, Shaanxi Normal University. All procedures performed in the study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and consent was obtained from each respondent. Additional information regarding the ethical, cultural, and scientific considerations specific to inclusivity in global research is included in the Supporting Information ( S1 Appendix ).
By the above criteria, 35 schools will be purposively selected. In these schools, 600 mathematics (female, male) students and 35 mathematics teachers applied problem-based learning methods in their classes. The general overview of the students in the study is given in Tables Tables1 1 and and2 2 showed that the number of teachers in gender-wise and their qualifications.
3.2. Data analysis
A structured questionnaire with a Likert scale was used to investigate the mathematics attitudes toward students (see S2 Appendix ) and teachers (see S3 Appendix ). Descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing is used for analysis. Analysis was performed by examining the correlations, covariance patterns between the observed measures and hypotheses testing were used for this study. There are seven (7) proposed hypotheses (H 1 to H 7 ) used for analysis (see Fig 1 ).
- H 1 : Confidence in Learning Mathematics Scale is positively influenced to Student’s Attitude Toward Problem-Based Learning.
- H 2 : Value of Mathematics Scale is positively influence by Student’s Attitude Toward Problem-Based Learning.
- H 3 : Attitude Toward Enjoyment in Mathematics Scale is positively influence to Student’s Attitude Toward Problem-Based Learning.
- H 4 : Student Mathematics Motivation Scale is positively influencing to Student’s Attitude Toward Problem-Based Learning.
- H 5 : Problem-solving learning and students’ achievements positively influence Student’s Attitude Toward Problem-Based Learning.
- H 6 : Difficulties in using problem-solving learning is positively influenced Student’s Attitude Toward Problem-Based Learning.
- H 7 : Advantages of problem-solving learning is positively influenced to Student’s Attitude Toward Problem-Based Learning.
Descriptive statistics are shown that provide a general overview of the data of the respondents. The collected data was analyzed by SPSS 23 version and Amos 23. For data analysis, Partial Least square structural equation Model (PLS-SEM) was used, interpreted in two stages. The first was to evaluate the student model, and the second was to assess the teachers’ model. The first (Student’s Attitude Toward Problem-Based Learning -ATPBL) model consisted of four constructs with 46 indicators—Confidence in Learning Mathematics Scale (C) = 12 indicators; Value of Mathematics Scale (V) = 12 indicators; Attitude Toward Enjoyment in Mathematics Scale (AE) = 10 indicators; and Student Mathematics Motivation Scale (M) = 12 indicators. The second model consisted of three constructs with 22 indicators—Problem-solving learning and students’ achievement (PLA) = 8 indicators, Advantages of problem-solving learning (APL) = 7 indicators, and Difficulties in using problem-solving learning (DPL) = 7 indicators can be seen in S4 Appendix .
4. Results and discussion
4.1. student attitude towards problem-based learning in mathematics.
According to Table 3 , the mean fluctuated between 1 to 4.5 and Std. Deviation fluctuated between 0.6 to 2.0 and highly Std. Deviation reported from C4 ( I am always confused in my mathematics class .) in the Confidence in Learning Mathematics Scale group. But the low value of Std. Deviation value reported from AE5 ( I really like mathematics ) in attitude toward enjoyment in mathematics scale group. Table 3 shows the results of descriptive statistics in the SEM model’s exogenous variables.
According to Fig 2 , the Confidence in Learning Mathematics Scale group had a high regression weight from C11 (In terms of my adult life, it is not important for me to do well in mathematics in high school). It recorded 0.664. But in the C1 (I have a lot of self-confidence when it comes to mathematics) showed that a low regression weight. It is recorded -22. As well as Confidence in Learning Mathematics Scale and Student’s Attitude toward Problem-Based Learning presented the 0.11 Standardized Regression Weight. Value of Mathematics Scale (V) showed the high regression weight with V10 (Taking mathematics is a waste of time.), and it recorded 1.01. But in the V1 (Mathematics is a very worthwhile and necessary subject) showed a low regression weight. It is recorded -.11. As well as Value of Mathematics Scale and Student’s Attitude toward Problem-Based Learning presented the 0.12 of Standardized Regression Weight. Hence, the Attitude toward Enjoyment in Mathematics Scale (AE) had a high regression weight from AE7 (Winning a prize in mathematics would make me feel unpleasantly conspicuous), and it recorded 0.88. Hence in the AE4 (I really like mathematics.) showed a low regression weight. It is recorded -.12.
As well as Attitude toward Enjoyment in Mathematics Scale and Student’s Attitude toward Problem-Based Learning presented the 0.005 of Standardized Regression Weight. Furthermore, Student Mathematics Motivation Scale (M) had a high regression weight from M8 (The challenge of math problems does not appeal to me), and it recorded 0.90. Hence in the AE4 (I really like mathematics.) showed a low regression weight. It is recorded -.014. As well as Student Mathematics Motivation Scale and Student’s Attitude toward Problem-Based Learning presented 0.086 of Standardized Regression Weight. According to the SEM, the standardized estimation can be identified the most student have a negative attitude about mathematics. As well as Fig 2 showed that the squared multiple correlations (R 2 ). A strong positive correlation was reported in V10 (Taking mathematics is a waste of time) with a 1.0 value. V2 (I want to develop my mathematical skills), V12 (I expect to have little use for mathematics when I get out of school), M1 (I like math puzzles), M2 (Mathematics is enjoyable and stimulating to me), M4 (Once I start trying to work on a math puzzle, I find it hard to stop), M12 (I do as a little work in math as possible), C5 (I learn mathematics easily.), C12 (When I hear the word mathematics, I have a feeling of dislike.), AE1 (I have usually enjoyed studying mathematics in school.) showed that, the no correlation. Not only that, but there was also no negative correlation reported in this model.
4.2. Hypotheses testing for Student attitude towards problem-based learning in mathematics
The proposed hypotheses of this study were tested through the standardized coefficient values and p-values in AMOS 23.0. The students’ model’s dependent variable was the Student’s Attitude Toward Problem-Based Learning (ATPBL). The Confidence in Learning Mathematics Scale (C), Value of Mathematics Scale (V), Attitude Toward Enjoyment in Mathematics Scale (AE), and Student Mathematics Motivation Scale (M) were independent variables.
Table 4 showed the acceptance of hypothesizes states that the Confidence in Learning Mathematics Scale (C), Value of Mathematics Scale (V), and Student Mathematics Motivation Scale (M) and these states are significant effects on the Student’s Attitude Toward Problem-Based Learning. But hypotheses state that the Attitude Toward Enjoyment in Mathematics Scale (AE) was rejected, and it did not significantly impact the Student’s Attitude Toward Problem-Based Learning (ATPBL).
4.3. Effects of using Problem-based Learning (PBL) on student’s achievements
According to Table 5 , the mean fluctuated between 3.71 to 4.20 and Std. Deviation fluctuated between 0.75 to 1.55 and high std. Deviation reported from PLA3 ( When I use this method , student achievement is high .) in Problem solving learning and students’ achievement group. But the low value of std. Deviation value reported from APL7 ( Problem-solving reduces the need to revise prior to examinations .) in Advantages of the problem-solving learning group.
According to Fig 3 , the problem-solving learning and students’ achievement group had the high regression weight from PLA6 ( The mathematics curriculum is designed to use the problem-solving method frequently .), and it recorded 0.97. However, the PLA1 ( You always get a good response from students who are motivated actively to solve the problems by themselves . ) showed a low regression weight. It is recorded -.269. As well as problem-solving learning and students’ achievement (PLA) and Student’s Attitude toward Problem-Based Learning presented the 0.106 Standardized Regression Weight. Advantages of problem-solving learning (APL) showed the high regression weight with APL7 ( Textbooks are structured to support problem-solving strategies ) and recorded 0.314. But in the APL1 ( Problem-solving helps students to use mathematics in their daily life .) showed a low regression weight. It is recorded -.0.974. As well as Advantages of problem-solving learning (APL) and Student’s Attitude toward Problem-Based Learning presented the 0.031 of Standardized Regression Weight. Hence, Difficulties in using problem-solving learning (DPL) had a high regression weight from DPL2 ( This method is not suitable when the time span is short for teaching . ) , and it recorded 0.94. Moreover, the DPL4 (You need enough space, resources, and feasible environment in the class.) showed the low regression weight. It is recorded -.153. As well as Difficulties in using problem-solving learning (DPL) and Student’s Attitude toward Problem-Based Learning presented the 0.11 of Standardized Regression Weight.
As well as Fig 3 showed the squared multiple correlations (R 2 ) and strong positive correlation reported in APL1 ( You always get a good response from students are motivated actively to solve the problems by themselves .), DPL2 ( This method is not suitable when time span is short for teaching .), APL2 ( You find the problem-solving method supportive for learners of all abilities in the class .), DPL6 ( It is more difficult to satisfy slow and weak learners through problem solving .), APL4 ( Students learn to draw diagram and pictures themselves to solve problems .), with .949, .883, .883, .859, .844 .824, respectively. ATPBL ( Student’s Attitude toward Problem-Based Learning ), APL3 ( When I use this method , student achievement is high .) PLA5 ( Problem-solving is helpful to make a learner more skilled and confident . ) DPL1 ( This method is difficult when students are larger in number in the classroom .) showed the very week but positive correlation. Not only that, but there was also no negative correlation reported in this model.
4.4. Hypotheses testing for effects of using Problem-based Learning (PBL) on student’s achievements
The proposed hypotheses of this study were tested through the standardized coefficient values, and p-values in AMOS 23.0 for the teachers’ model. In the teachers’ model dependent variable was the Student’s Attitude Toward Problem-Based Learning (ATPBL). The Problem-solving learning and students’ achievement (PLA) Advantages of problem-solving learning (APL) and Difficulties in using problem-solving learning (DPL) were independent variables in this study.
Table 6 showed the acceptance of hypothesizes by stating that the Problem-solving learning and students’ achievement (PLA), Advantages of problem-solving learning (APL), and Difficulties in using problem-solving learning (DPL). These states have a significant positive impact on the Student’s Attitude Toward Problem-Based Learning (ATPBL).
Information about students’ attitudes towards problem-based learning in mathematics is influential to both the students and the teachers [ 30 ]. The current study Partial Least Structural Equation Model (PLS-SEM) approach investigates the student attitude and teachers’ attitude towards problem-based learning in mathematics. The demographic data of this study have also exposed those 600 students and 36 teachers are competent in handling mathematics.
In firstly, this study estimated the student attitude towards problem-based learning in mathematics. The PLS-SEM model showed that the mean fluctuated between 1 to 4.5 and Std. Deviation fluctuated between 0.6 to 2.0. Among the 46 indicators, the C4 (I am always confused in my mathematics class) showed a high Std. Deviation and, but the low value of Std. Deviation value reported from AE5 (I really like mathematics) indicator.
According to the regression weight, in the students’ model, the high weight record in C11 (In terms of my adult life it is not important for me to do well in mathematics in high school.) and it recorded 0.664, V10 (Taking mathematics is a waste of time.). It recorded 1.01, AE7 (Winning a prize in mathematics would make me feel unpleasantly conspicuous) and it recorded 0.88, M8 (The challenge of math problems does not appeal to me), and it recorded 0.90.
According to the regression weight, in the teachers’ model, the high weight record PLA6 (The mathematics curriculum is designed to use the problem-solving method frequently) and is recorded 0.97. APL7 (Textbooks are structured to support problem-solving strategies.), and it recorded 0.314. DPL2 (This method is not suitable when time span is short for teaching.), and it recorded 0.94.
According to the hypothesizes testing, the acceptance of hypothesizes by stating that the Confidence in Learning Mathematics Scale (C), Value of Mathematics Scale (V), and Student Mathematics Motivation Scale (M) and these states are significant effects on the Students’ Attitude Toward Problem-Based Learning. But it hypothesizes by stating that the Attitude Toward Enjoyment in Mathematics Scale (AE) was rejected, and it did not significantly affect the Students’ Attitude Toward Problem-Based Learning (ATPBL). As well as the acceptance of hypothesizes by stating that the Problem-solving learning and students’ achievement (PLA), Advantages of problem-solving learning (APL) and Difficulties in using problem-solving learning (DPL) has a significant positive impact on the Students’ Attitude Toward Problem-Based Learning (ATPBL).
This study significantly revealed students’ attitudes towards mathematics and the attitudes of teachers who use it to teach mathematics. Finally, this study suggested that teachers should also adopt new teaching methods corresponding to mathematics. There is a need to explore particular mathematics skills to enhance students’ learning abilities.
S1 appendix, s2 appendix, s3 appendix, s4 appendix, acknowledgments.
The first author would like to thank his parents who support him in this work. We thank those anonymous reviewers whose comments/suggestions helped to improve and clarify this manuscript.
Institutional review board statement
This study is approved by the Educational Research Ethics committee from the School of Education, Shaanxi Normal University. All procedures performed in the study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee.
Informed consent statement
Informed consent was obtained from all subjects involved in the study.
ZY received the grant for the Social Science Fund Project of Shaanxi Province "Legitimacy Analysis of Education and Training Market" (2019Q005). This study was also supported by the National Social Science Foundation of China Project (BAA170014).
- Tell me about your situation
How your attitude affects your problem solving skills
When you are frustrated, upset, or angry, you cannot problem-solve very well.
Guess what part of your brain is hijacking your normally calm, cool and collected self? The friggin’ amygdala is at it again. Fight, flight, freeze or fawn stuff. Those are the only options that we see when our amygdala is activated.
July 20, 2022
In Today's Blog
Friggin’ Amygdala and the Problem-solving Process
We know that the amygdala hijacks our abilities to make good decisions and lowers our ability to problem-solve because we cannot think about our true options. What about our attitudes? I am having a little trouble explaining attitude, so bear with me here. We each have assessments or judgments about “attitude object” We use words to describe what we like or do not like. Examples include, Like, prefer, love, do not like, hate, can’t stand, etc. We make these statements in relation to ourselves. “I like _____.” “I hate ____.” Attitudes are really evaluations that we make based on what is important to us. Our experiences are different and so our attitudes may be different too.
Attitudes are shaped by feelings and emotions. And another tidbit, emotion is sometimes the driving force behind our attitudes and behaviors.
There will be some things that you feel very strongly about. There will also be things that you don’t feel strongly about.
Structure of Attitudes
Attitude’s structure can be described in terms of three components.
- Affective component : this involves a person’s feelings/emotions about the attitude object. For example: “I am scared of spiders”.
- Behavioral (or conative) component: the way the attitude we have influences on how we act or behave. For example: “I will avoid spiders and scream if I see one”.
- Cognitive component: this involves a person’s belief/knowledge about an attitude object. For example: “I believe spiders are dangerous”.
This model is known as the ABC model of attitudes .
Does a negative attitude affect problem-solving skills?
A negative attitude towards a problem makes it worse. When you think negatively, it only magnifies and deepens the emotional weight of “said problem.” You not only see the problem as a problem, you see it as an enemy or an attack on you. You can become overwhelmed and paralyzed. You know what comes next, don’t you? The downward spiral. Which makes the attitude and the problem much worse?
I like the Fish! Philosophy and want to share a little with you.
The FISH Philosophy to help problem solve
The FISH! Philosophy doesn’t promote “correct” or “approved” attitudes over others. Every situation is unique. But it is important to mindfully Choose Your Attitude . You may not control what happens to you, but you do get to decide how you respond to it.
Making a conscious choice isn’t easy, especially when a situation hijacks your emotions and drives you to react the same way you have hundreds of times before. It takes practice to take control of your response, instead of letting it control you.
Here are four tips to help you take charge and Choose Your Attitude:
1. Be aware of your inner voice External events may trigger your feelings, but only after they go through an internal filter called your inner voice. Your inner voice starts talking to you as soon as you wake up, issuing opinions about everything you see, hear, touch, smell and feel.
Your inner voice is rarely a neutral observer. It judges each experience through the likes and dislikes you have accumulated over a lifetime. It looks for evidence that you are right and the other person is wrong. It exaggerates how bad the situation is or imagines how it might go off track. Sometimes it puts other people down. Often it puts you down, questioning your talents and capabilities.
If you want to choose your attitude, not just react, you must challenge your inner voice. Catch it in the moment, then take a step back. Instead of just accepting what it is telling you, observe it as a neutral onlooker.
Just becoming aware that it is a voice, and what it is saying is one of several possible interpretations, helps you decide how much to believe it—and the best way to respond.
2. What’s your goal? To mindfully choose how you respond to what life throws at you, you need a plan. Decide who you want to “be” today. Keep your goal top of mind. Select a few words that describe your intentions, such as “patient”, “open” or “helpful”. Focus on living those qualities.
Moment-to-moment awareness is key. Ask yourself throughout the day, “What is my attitude now? Is it helping me to be as effective as I can be? Is it helping the people who depend on me?”
Think ahead: What people or situations are likely to test your attitude today? What might push your buttons? Rehearse how you will respond. Reaffirm your goal and stay focused on the response that helps you achieve it.
Consider the long-term consequences of your reactions. Say a member of your team makes a bad mistake or you have a disagreement with them. Is the momentary satisfaction of tearing into them worth damaging your relationship ? Disagreements and problems come and go, but your relationships are not so easily replaced.
3. Adopt a “growth” attitude Your attitudes are shaped by how you see others—and by how you see yourself.
People with a “fixed” attitude see their abilities as set and established. They know what they’re good at and view what they’re not good at as talents they don’t have the capacity to improve (“I could never learn that!” or “I wasn’t born with a brain for that!”).
People with a fixed mindset see tasks requiring them to step outside their comfort zones as threats. Confident in what they already excel at, they fear mistakes that might threaten their identity. They only pay attention to feedback and information that confirms their beliefs.
People with a growth mindset believe they can always improve their skills. It doesn’t mean you can do anything, like play in the NBA or be an opera star. It means you never know what more is possible for you and do not limit yourself before you try. It means seeing mistakes as a chance to learn and stretch yourself.
Studies show people with growth attitudes are more engaged and empowered. They handle change more successfully. They’re more flexible and open to seeing new solutions. In workplaces that support a growth attitude, people collaborate more and feel safe to try new approaches.
4. Challenge your assumptions It’s natural to assume the worst about other people’s motives and capabilities, especially if we don’t agree or connect positively with them. Believing they offer little of value to us, we usually try to avoid them—which doesn’t do much for team collaboration and camaraderie.
If you have a coworker or employee you think has a bad attitude or lack of motivation, move past your assumptions. Reach out. Find out why—not with accusations but with caring questions. You may learn they are dealing with a trying situation at home or work stresses you didn’t know about. Knowing this will help you respond to them more productively.
Treat them with a little kindness and encouragement and you may see a different side of them. Learn their perspective. Find out what they do well and seek their input. People tend to respond to you based on how you treat them. If not, you have chosen an attitude you can be proud of.
Back to problem-solving.
If you don’t see a problem as a disaster, you are more likely to be calm and think about your options. Are you open to looking at the problem as an opportunity? We like opportunities. Our brains like opportunities. Our brains like to brainstorm. Finding any and all possible solutions to our dilemma. Now, not everything thing will be a winner, but the whittling down comes a little later in the process.
Improve problem-solving skills
Would you like to be a more effective problem-solver? Then invite positivity into your environment. Positive attitudes increase creativity and problem-solving skills. A positive attitude also increases productivity.
- Some ways to create a positive attitude:
- Write down three things you are grateful for each day (not the same 3 things, either)
- Take breaks during your day
- Tell a few jokes, or watch a funny animal video
- Think about the ways to have a great morning and do them
- Don’t spread gossip, don’t listen to gossip
- Look forward to something outside of work
- Practice meditation, walk, work-out
- Have some “you time”- unwind, destress, play
- Listen to music, watch a funny TV show, read an uplifting or funny book
- Hang-out with positive people
- Be open to possibilities
- Stop the “stinking thinking”
- Sit with your feelings and acknowledge them
- Recharge your batteries
- Stop complaining
- Assume responsibility, choose your response
- Caregivers: How to decide what to do , what to delegate and what to mark off the list
- Mindfulness for Caregivers: Balancing Self-Care and Loved One Support
- Caregiving for Mom or Dad: Navigating the Challenges of Dementia as an Adult Child
- Self-Destruction or Self-Care, You Choose
- How you can support the primary family caregiver
- November 2023
- October 2023
- September 2023
- August 2023
- February 2023
- January 2023
- December 2022
- November 2022
- October 2022
- September 2022
- August 2022
- February 2022
- January 2022
- December 2021
- November 2021
- October 2021
- September 2021
- August 2021
- November 2020
Get In Touch
Comprehensive Interview Guide: 60+ Professions Explored in Detail
26 Good Examples of Problem Solving (Interview Answers)
By Biron Clark
Published: November 15, 2023
Employers like to hire people who can solve problems and work well under pressure. A job rarely goes 100% according to plan, so hiring managers will be more likely to hire you if you seem like you can handle unexpected challenges while staying calm and logical in your approach.
But how do they measure this?
They’re going to ask you interview questions about these problem solving skills, and they might also look for examples of problem solving on your resume and cover letter. So coming up, I’m going to share a list of examples of problem solving, whether you’re an experienced job seeker or recent graduate.
Then I’ll share sample interview answers to, “Give an example of a time you used logic to solve a problem?”
It is the ability to identify the problem, prioritize based on gravity and urgency, analyze the root cause, gather relevant information, develop and evaluate viable solutions, decide on the most effective and logical solution, and plan and execute implementation.
Problem-solving also involves critical thinking, communication , listening, creativity, research, data gathering, risk assessment, continuous learning, decision-making, and other soft and technical skills.
Solving problems not only prevent losses or damages but also boosts self-confidence and reputation when you successfully execute it. The spotlight shines on you when people see you handle issues with ease and savvy despite the challenges. Your ability and potential to be a future leader that can take on more significant roles and tackle bigger setbacks shine through. Problem-solving is a skill you can master by learning from others and acquiring wisdom from their and your own experiences.
It takes a village to come up with solutions, but a good problem solver can steer the team towards the best choice and implement it to achieve the desired result.
Watch: 26 Good Examples of Problem Solving
Examples of problem solving scenarios in the workplace.
- Correcting a mistake at work, whether it was made by you or someone else
- Overcoming a delay at work through problem solving and communication
- Resolving an issue with a difficult or upset customer
- Overcoming issues related to a limited budget, and still delivering good work through the use of creative problem solving
- Overcoming a scheduling/staffing shortage in the department to still deliver excellent work
- Troubleshooting and resolving technical issues
- Handling and resolving a conflict with a coworker
- Solving any problems related to money, customer billing, accounting and bookkeeping, etc.
- Taking initiative when another team member overlooked or missed something important
- Taking initiative to meet with your superior to discuss a problem before it became potentially worse
- Solving a safety issue at work or reporting the issue to those who could solve it
- Using problem solving abilities to reduce/eliminate a company expense
- Finding a way to make the company more profitable through new service or product offerings, new pricing ideas, promotion and sale ideas, etc.
- Changing how a process, team, or task is organized to make it more efficient
- Using creative thinking to come up with a solution that the company hasn’t used before
- Performing research to collect data and information to find a new solution to a problem
- Boosting a company or team’s performance by improving some aspect of communication among employees
- Finding a new piece of data that can guide a company’s decisions or strategy better in a certain area
Problem Solving Examples for Recent Grads/Entry Level Job Seekers
- Coordinating work between team members in a class project
- Reassigning a missing team member’s work to other group members in a class project
- Adjusting your workflow on a project to accommodate a tight deadline
- Speaking to your professor to get help when you were struggling or unsure about a project
- Asking classmates, peers, or professors for help in an area of struggle
- Talking to your academic advisor to brainstorm solutions to a problem you were facing
- Researching solutions to an academic problem online, via Google or other methods
- Using problem solving and creative thinking to obtain an internship or other work opportunity during school after struggling at first
You can share all of the examples above when you’re asked questions about problem solving in your interview. As you can see, even if you have no professional work experience, it’s possible to think back to problems and unexpected challenges that you faced in your studies and discuss how you solved them.
Interview Answers to “Give an Example of an Occasion When You Used Logic to Solve a Problem”
Now, let’s look at some sample interview answers to, “Give me an example of a time you used logic to solve a problem,” since you’re likely to hear this interview question in all sorts of industries.
Example Answer 1:
At my current job, I recently solved a problem where a client was upset about our software pricing. They had misunderstood the sales representative who explained pricing originally, and when their package renewed for its second month, they called to complain about the invoice. I apologized for the confusion and then spoke to our billing team to see what type of solution we could come up with. We decided that the best course of action was to offer a long-term pricing package that would provide a discount. This not only solved the problem but got the customer to agree to a longer-term contract, which means we’ll keep their business for at least one year now, and they’re happy with the pricing. I feel I got the best possible outcome and the way I chose to solve the problem was effective.
Example Answer 2:
In my last job, I had to do quite a bit of problem solving related to our shift scheduling. We had four people quit within a week and the department was severely understaffed. I coordinated a ramp-up of our hiring efforts, I got approval from the department head to offer bonuses for overtime work, and then I found eight employees who were willing to do overtime this month. I think the key problem solving skills here were taking initiative, communicating clearly, and reacting quickly to solve this problem before it became an even bigger issue.
Example Answer 3:
In my current marketing role, my manager asked me to come up with a solution to our declining social media engagement. I assessed our current strategy and recent results, analyzed what some of our top competitors were doing, and then came up with an exact blueprint we could follow this year to emulate our best competitors but also stand out and develop a unique voice as a brand. I feel this is a good example of using logic to solve a problem because it was based on analysis and observation of competitors, rather than guessing or quickly reacting to the situation without reliable data. I always use logic and data to solve problems when possible. The project turned out to be a success and we increased our social media engagement by an average of 82% by the end of the year.
Answering Questions About Problem Solving with the STAR Method
When you answer interview questions about problem solving scenarios, or if you decide to demonstrate your problem solving skills in a cover letter (which is a good idea any time the job description mention problem solving as a necessary skill), I recommend using the STAR method to tell your story.
STAR stands for:
It’s a simple way of walking the listener or reader through the story in a way that will make sense to them. So before jumping in and talking about the problem that needed solving, make sure to describe the general situation. What job/company were you working at? When was this? Then, you can describe the task at hand and the problem that needed solving. After this, describe the course of action you chose and why. Ideally, show that you evaluated all the information you could given the time you had, and made a decision based on logic and fact.
Finally, describe a positive result you got.
Whether you’re answering interview questions about problem solving or writing a cover letter, you should only choose examples where you got a positive result and successfully solved the issue.
Situation : We had an irate client who was a social media influencer and had impossible delivery time demands we could not meet. She spoke negatively about us in her vlog and asked her followers to boycott our products. (Task : To develop an official statement to explain our company’s side, clarify the issue, and prevent it from getting out of hand). Action : I drafted a statement that balanced empathy, understanding, and utmost customer service with facts, logic, and fairness. It was direct, simple, succinct, and phrased to highlight our brand values while addressing the issue in a logical yet sensitive way. We also tapped our influencer partners to subtly and indirectly share their positive experiences with our brand so we could counter the negative content being shared online. Result : We got the results we worked for through proper communication and a positive and strategic campaign. The irate client agreed to have a dialogue with us. She apologized to us, and we reaffirmed our commitment to delivering quality service to all. We assured her that she can reach out to us anytime regarding her purchases and that we’d gladly accommodate her requests whenever possible. She also retracted her negative statements in her vlog and urged her followers to keep supporting our brand.
What Are Good Outcomes of Problem Solving?
Whenever you answer interview questions about problem solving or share examples of problem solving in a cover letter, you want to be sure you’re sharing a positive outcome.
Below are good outcomes of problem solving:
- Saving the company time or money
- Making the company money
- Pleasing/keeping a customer
- Obtaining new customers
- Solving a safety issue
- Solving a staffing/scheduling issue
- Solving a logistical issue
- Solving a company hiring issue
- Solving a technical/software issue
- Making a process more efficient and faster for the company
- Creating a new business process to make the company more profitable
- Improving the company’s brand/image/reputation
- Getting the company positive reviews from customers/clients
Every employer wants to make more money, save money, and save time. If you can assess your problem solving experience and think about how you’ve helped past employers in those three areas, then that’s a great start. That’s where I recommend you begin looking for stories of times you had to solve problems.
Tips to Improve Your Problem Solving Skills
Throughout your career, you’re going to get hired for better jobs and earn more money if you can show employers that you’re a problem solver. So to improve your problem solving skills, I recommend always analyzing a problem and situation before acting. When discussing problem solving with employers, you never want to sound like you rush or make impulsive decisions. They want to see fact-based or data-based decisions when you solve problems.
Next, to get better at solving problems, analyze the outcomes of past solutions you came up with. You can recognize what works and what doesn’t. Think about how you can get better at researching and analyzing a situation, but also how you can get better at communicating, deciding the right people in the organization to talk to and “pull in” to help you if needed, etc.
Finally, practice staying calm even in stressful situations. Take a few minutes to walk outside if needed. Step away from your phone and computer to clear your head. A work problem is rarely so urgent that you cannot take five minutes to think (with the possible exception of safety problems), and you’ll get better outcomes if you solve problems by acting logically instead of rushing to react in a panic.
You can use all of the ideas above to describe your problem solving skills when asked interview questions about the topic. If you say that you do the things above, employers will be impressed when they assess your problem solving ability.
If you practice the tips above, you’ll be ready to share detailed, impressive stories and problem solving examples that will make hiring managers want to offer you the job. Every employer appreciates a problem solver, whether solving problems is a requirement listed on the job description or not. And you never know which hiring manager or interviewer will ask you about a time you solved a problem, so you should always be ready to discuss this when applying for a job.
Related interview questions & answers:
- How do you handle stress?
- How do you handle conflict?
- Tell me about a time when you failed
About the Author
Read more articles by Biron Clark
15 Most Common Pharmacist Interview Questions and Answers
15 most common paralegal interview questions and answers, top 30+ funny interview questions and answers, 60 hardest interview questions and answers, 100+ best ice breaker questions to ask candidates, top 20 situational interview questions (& sample answers), 15 most common physical therapist interview questions and answers, 15 most common project manager interview questions and answers, create a professional resume for free.
No-sign up or payment required.
PROBLEM SOLVING ATTITUDE AND CRITICAL THINKING ABILITY OF STUDENTS
- Dr. Jerald C. Moneva Mandaue City Division- Department of Education, Mandaue City, Cebu Philippines
- Dr. Rey G. Miralles Senior High School, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines
- James Z. Rosell Mandaue City Division- Department of Education, Mandaue City, Cebu Philippines
Problem solving attitude is one of the most important aspect of the students in handling problems that they encountered. Meanwhile, critical thinking ability is also an important skill of the students in dealing and analyzing the problems and to it appropriately. The study used descriptive correlation design to determine the relationship between problem solving attitude and critical thinking ability of the students. The study has 240 respondents from the different strands (ABM, HUMSS, GAS, TVL and STEM) in certain senior high school: Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines. The tool used in this study in getting the information and data collection is rating scale questionnaire. All the data are analyzed using weighted mean and chi-square to show the result. The result shows that the problem solving attitude is significantly associated to the critical thinking ability of the students. Students who have high level of problem solving attitude will become successful ones someday, because they don’t get affected in their problems instead, they solved it right away with their critical thinking. Students' critical thinking ability is very useful in solving and analyzing their problems.
Carzon, Z. (2007). A problem with problem solving: Teaching Thinking Without Teaching Knowledge. The Mathematics Educator, 17(2), 7-14.
Tuzlukova, V., & Prabhukanth, K.U. (2018). Critical thinking and problem solving skills: English for Science Foundation Program Students' Perspectives. Collection of Papers of the Faculty of Philosophy, 47(3), 37-58. Doi: 10.5937/ZRFFP48-18664 DOI: https://doi.org/10.5937/ZRFFP48-18664
Toharudin, U. (2015). Critical thinking and problem solving skills: How these Skills are needed in Educational Psychology?. International Journal of Science and Research, 78(96), 1-4. Doi: 10.21275/ART20171836
Ozturk, T., &Guven, B. (2015). Evaluating students' beliefs in problem solving process: A Case Study. EURASIA Journal of mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 12(2), 411-429.
Leader, L., & Middleton, J. (2004). Promoting critical-thinking dispositions by using problem solving in middle school mathematics. Research in Middle Level Education Online, 28(1), 1-13. Doi: 10.1080/19404476.11658174
Nasriah, L. (2017). Problem solving methods to improve understanding of learning social subject matter for students of VII of SMP Negeri2 Tigaraksa, Indonesia. European Journal of Education Studies, 3(4), 1-8. Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.345621
Gok, T. (2014). Students' achievement, skill and confidence in using stepwise problem-solving strategies.Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 10(6), 617-624. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.ejmste . com/Students-Achievement-Skill-and-nConfidence-in-Using-Stepwise-nProblem-Solving-Strategies, 74874,0,2. html &ved
Saygili, S. (2017). Examining the problem solving skills and the strategies used by high school students in solving non-routine problems. E-Internaltional Journal of Educational Research, 8(2), 91-114.
Rohmah, M., &Sutiaro, S. (2017). Analysis problem solving in mathematical using theory new man. EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 14(2), 671-681. Doi: 10.12973/ejmste/80630 DOI: https://doi.org/10.12973/ejmste/80630
Utami, B., Saputro, S., Ashadi, Masykuri, M., &Sutanto, A. (2017). Implementation of problem solving with concept map to improve critical thinking skills and chemistry learning achievement. International Conference on Teacher Training and Education, 158(1), 1-10. https: //www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url= https://download.atlantis-press.com/article /25885745.pdf&ved DOI: https://doi.org/10.2991/ictte-17.2017.39
Shakhman, L., & Barak, M. (2019). The physics problem-solving taxonomy (PPST): Development and Application for Evaluating Student Learning. EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 15(11), 1-16. https//doi.org/10.29333/ejmste/109266
Chao, J.Y., Tzeng, P.W., & Po, H.Y. (2016). The study of problem solving process of E-book PBL course of atayal senior high school students in taiwan. EURASIA Journal of Mathematics Science and Technology Education, 13(3), 1001-1012. Doi: 10.12973/eurasia.2017 .00654a
Alcantara, E. &Bacsa, J.M. (2017). Critical thinking and problem solving skills in mathematics of grade-7 public secondary students. Asia Pacific Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 5(4), 21-27. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=
Ancel, G. (2016). Problem-Solving Training: Effects on the Problem-Solving Skills and Self-Efficacy of Nursing Students. Eurasian Journal of Educational Research, 64, 231-246, http://dx.doi.org/10.14689/ejer.2016.64.13 DOI: https://doi.org/10.14689/ejer.2016.64.13
Caballero, A., Blanco, L., & Guerrero, E. (2011). Problem solving and emotional education in initial primary teacher education. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 7(4), 281-292. DOI: https://doi.org/10.12973/ejmste/75206
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct =j&url= http://www.ejmste.com/pdf
Temur, O.D. (2012). Analysis of prospective classroom teachers' teaching of mathematical modeling and problem solving. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 8(2), 83-93.
Karakoc, M. (2016). The significance of critical thinking ability in terms of education. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 6(7), 81-85.
Llyod, M. & Bahr, N. (2010). Thinking critically about critical thinking in higher education. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 4(2), 2-16.
Zulmaulida, A., Wahyudin, M., &Dahlan, J.A. (2018). Watson-glaser's critical thinking skills. Journal of Physics, 1-6. Doi: 10.1088/1742-6596/1028/1/012094 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/1028/1/012094
Birgili, B. (2015). Creative and critical thinking skills in problem-based learning environments. Journal of Gifted Education and Creativity, 2(2), 71-80. Doi: 10.18200/JGEDC.2015214253 DOI: https://doi.org/10.18200/JGEDC.2015214253
Snyder, L.G., &Synder, M. (2008). Teaching critical thinking and problem solving. The Delta Pi Espilson Journal, 50(2), 90-99.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t& source=web&rct=j&url= https://www.scirp.org
Zare, M., &Biria, R. (2018). Contributory role of critical thinking in enhancing reading comprehension ability of Inanian ESP students. International Journal of Research in English Education, 3(3), 22-28. Doi:10.29252/ijree.3.3.21 DOI: https://doi.org/10.29252/ijree.3.3.21
Nold, H. (2017). Using critical thinking teaching methods to increase students success: An Action Research Project. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 29(1), 17-32. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://files.eric.ed.gov
Changwong, K., Sukkamart, A., &Sisan, B. (2018). Critical thinking skill development: Analysis of a New Learning Management Model for Thai High School. Journal of International Studies, 11(2), 37-48. Doi: 10.14254/20718330. /11-2/3
Saputra, M.D., Joyoatmojo, S., Wardani, D.K. (2019). Developing critical-thinking skills through the collaboration of Jigsaw model with problem-based learning model. International Journal of Instuction, 12(1), 1077-1094. DOI: https://doi.org/10.29333/iji.2019.12169a
Marasigan, A., & Espinosa, A. (2014). Modified useful-learning approach: Effects on Students' Critical Thinking Skills and Attitude towards Chemistry. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research, 1(1). https://www.ijlter . org/index. php /ijlter/article/view/9/4
Thaiposri, P., &Wannapiroon, P. (2015). Enhancing students' critical thinking skills through teaching and learning by inquiry-based learning activities using social network and cloud computing. Procedure-Social and Behavioral Science,174(1), 2137-2144. Doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.02.013 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.02.013
Rodzalan, S., &Saat, M. (2018). A mixed-method analysis on students' critical thinking and problem solving skill development in malaysian public universities. International PostGraduate Conference on Applied Science & Physics, 1-9. Doi: 10.1088/1742-6596/1/012015
Belecina, R., &Ocampo, J. Jr. (2018). Effecting change on students' critical thinking in problem solving. Educare: International Journal for Educational Studies, 10(2), 109-116.
Ozyurt, O. (2015). Examining the critical thinking dispositions and the problem solving skills of computer engineering students. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 11(2), 353-361. DOI: https://doi.org/10.12973/eurasia.2015.1342a
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct= j&url= http://www.ejmste.com/Examining-the-Critical-Thinking-Dispositions-and-the-Problem-Solving-Skills-of-Computer-Engineering-Students,51522,0,2.html&ved
Pandit, R. (2011). Problem-solving style questionnaire. https: //www.scribd.com/doc/ 67905634/Problem-Solving-Style-Questionnaire
Castle, A. (2006). Assessment of the critical thinking skill of student. Science Direct. 12(2), 88-95. https: //www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1078817405000234
How to Cite
- Endnote/Zotero/Mendeley (RIS)
With the licence CC-BY, authors retain the copyright, allowing anyone to download, reuse, re-print, modify, distribute, and/or copy their contribution. The work must be properly attributed to its author.
It is not necessary to ask for further permission from the author or journal board.
This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.
Most read articles by the same author(s)
- Jerald C. Moneva, Bandino P. Gatan, EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND SELF-DISCIPLINE IN SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL , International Journal of Research -GRANTHAALAYAH: Vol. 8 No. 1 (2020): Volume 8 Issue 1: Janurary 2020
- Jerald C. Moneva, Genelyn G. Rozada, Adrian M. Sollano, PARENTS OCCUPATION AND STUDENTS SELF-ESTEEM , International Journal of Research -GRANTHAALAYAH: Vol. 7 No. 12 (2019): Volume 7 Issue 12: December 2019
- Jerald C. Moneva, Kholeen H. Inday, STUDENTS’ APPREHENSION IN CLASS PARTICIPATION AND FAMILY COMMUNICATION , International Journal of Research -GRANTHAALAYAH: Vol. 8 No. 1 (2020): Volume 8 Issue 1: Janurary 2020
Make a Submission
If you face an issue in Submission Online, please send the manuscript to email: [email protected]
Follow Us On
Peer Review Process
New school refusal data suggests the 'shocking' issue is much bigger than first thought
With her son missing weeks of school at a time, Georgina Ker followed the "tough love" prescription she was told would remedy her son's "behaviour problem".
- New data reveals more than one-in-three parents dealt with school refusal in the past 12 months
- The Senator who commissioned the survey says the scale of the problem is bigger than thought
- Parents say addressing the "stressors" behind the refusal, rather than "tough love", has helped
The mother-of-four confiscated his house key and would pack the family's gaming console, games and controllers every day to stash at her work.
"When you're in this situation, you get well-meaning advice from schools, from professionals, saying 'tough love', 'make home not a fun place and they'll go to school'," Ms Ker said.
Her crackdown came at a time of desperation when school refusal seemed to take over her life.
"I'm separated from my older children's father, so it made things very difficult with that co-parenting relationship, but it also put a lot of pressure on my relationship with my current partner and we have a small child as well," Ms Ker said.
"It affected my employment, it affected my own physical health, so I put a lot of weight [on and] I had to go on anxiety medication myself."
She said she still clearly remembers the hot summer day, when the weather hit 37 degrees Celsius, that "tough love" failed.
She forced her son to the school gate and went to work, not realising he would walk home the moment her car was out of sight.
"He actually sat on the front porch all day, with very little water, on a hot day, rather than go to school," Ms Ker said.
"That was the point I realised this isn't just refusing to go to school, he physically can't and the tough love isn't working. That was endangering his health."
Tackling an emerging problem by reducing stressors
School systems across the world are battling school refusal, an emerging problem that can tear families apart and leave children in extreme mental distress.
It is defined as different to regular truancy because it is long term and students do not hide their actions or engage in anti-social behaviour.
Ms Ker said a growing number of parents were finding the answer was addressing "stressors" that could accumulate to the point students felt unable to leave the house.
After therapy, rebuilding trust and '"healing" their relationship, her son was able to get his education back on track with a term of distance education followed by a move to a private school.
He finished year 12 last week.
"It is a big financial burden, so I'm lucky that I can manage that, but there are lots of people that can't. They're the ones that are really slipping through the cracks," Ms Ker said.
The lessons made it smoother when Ms Ker's 15-year-old daughter began missing similar amounts of school, only attending about half the time.
Both of her children have ADHD and her daughter has autism as well.
According to peer support network School Can't Australia, which has 10,000 members, about 75 per cent of students within its community have a disability.
It said attendance problems were often linked to a lack of inclusivity in the education system.
Parents like Georgina Ker felt enormous validation when a bi-partisan Senate inquiry acknowledged the pain experienced by many families , rejected tough love and called for a national action plan to address school refusal.
Calls for more inclusive education has also been a key topic in the disability royal commission , and a Senate inquiry into ADHD released this week has recommended more training on recognising and meeting the needs of people with ADHD in schools.
'Shocking' poll suggests school refusal wider issue
The school refusal Senate inquiry recommended commissioning national tracking because there was little available data on the subject — until now.
Greens senator and former teacher Penny Allman-Payne commissioned a national poll of 1,000 parents which has been released exclusively to ABC News.
When the results were weighted across public and private schools, 39 per cent of parents agreed or strongly agreed that their child had experienced school refusal in the past year.
"The fact that it was so high was shocking. The fact that it's happening though is not," Senator Allman-Payne said.
"We certainly heard during the Senate inquiry that large numbers of families have been experiencing 'school can't' for some time."
Senator Allman-Payne said schools were not always a nice environment for young people.
"It always used to be really obvious to me as a teacher," Senator Allman-Payne said.
"You know, you'd walk into a government office where a politician worked and it was always a really nice, pleasant environment to be in, and yet it's okay for governments to expect young people to turn up every day to classrooms that are old, noisy, not insulated, not well lit."
The government is due to provide a response to the senate inquiry's 14 recommendations — which included extra mental health support and earlier interventions — by this Friday.
Federal Education Minister Jason Clare is also negotiating a new school funding agreement and is facing pressure to deliver the estimated $6 billion needed to ensure public schools meet their minimum funding levels.
In a statement to ABC News, Mr Clare said the federal government was considering its response to the senate inquiry and said it was a "complex" issue.
"Over the last 10 years we've seen a drop in attendance rates right across the board, amongst boys and girls, primary schools and high schools, government and non-government schools, in the bush and in the cities," Mr Clare said.
He said attendance was monitored by the states and solutions would be explored when education ministers met to discuss a recently completed report into school funding which would include how to improve the wellbeing of children at school.
"Because if you're feeling better, then you'll perform better at school," Mr Clare said.
Shadow education minister Sarah Henderson called for the government to act on school refusal so students would not miss their chance at an education.
"I call on the Albanese government to accept all of the recommendations in the report, particularly the provision of more subsidised mental health care visits," Senator Henderson said.
Numbers are 'staggering'
Tiffany Westphal, a board member and volunteer at School Can't, said the poll numbers were "staggering".
"It's not surprising to us. It's quite a staggering figure though, 39 per cent of school students, that probably equates to 1.5 million students around Australia," Ms Westphal said.
"That's evidence of high stress in the context of school."
Ms Westphal said the limitation of the poll was that it did not establish how severely the students were experiencing school refusal, which meant the number of students missing large amounts of school was likely lower.
The Senate inquiry recommended School Can't receive funding to allow it to establish its own website and cut down its wait time of three months for new members.
"School Can't Australia sees that students are not able to attend school, and there are barriers and stressors that impact their ability to attend school," Ms Westphal said.
"Our use of School Can't is to help people reframe how they see the issue."
Her advice to schools battling the issue: Create 'safe' people and spaces for students experiencing school refusal Helping teachers better understand signs of distress in students Helping students communicate that distress to their teacher Understanding masking where students may appear fine, but are highly distressed Managing expectations from students who are experiencing school refusal
- X (formerly Twitter)
We still don't know the true scale of school refusal — but there are solutions we can look at right now .
The program helping to win 'school refusal' kids back to the classroom
'It's a real fear': Yolanda's daughter's school refusal behaviour manifested in panic attacks. Here's how they overcame it
- Mental Health
- Private Schools
- Public Schools
November 16, 2023
This article has been reviewed according to Science X's editorial process and policies . Editors have highlighted the following attributes while ensuring the content's credibility:
Reactor physics research: Advanced neural networks reveal new potential in solving K-eigenvalue problems
Provided by TranSpread
Feedback to editors
Unveiling Mercury's geological mysteries: Salt glaciers, primordial atmosphere, and the new frontiers of astrobiology
30 minutes ago
Enhancing the antimicrobial activity of silver nanoparticles against pathogens by using tea extracts
31 minutes ago
Navigation on the Mississippi has worsened for decades, finds study
55 minutes ago
Unique weather phenomenon may have helped Ukraine identify and sink Russian ship Moskva
North Atlantic circulation found to have reduced historical changes in climate
Pioneering robot arm poised to reach new heights in quantum
2 hours ago
Putting an end to plastic separation anxiety
Deep learning model can detect a previously unknown quasicrystalline phase
Most Americans are oblivious to 'forever chemicals' and risks, research finds
3 hours ago
Novel approaches for correcting gene expression insufficiency
Relevant physicsforums posts, is it possible to boil water by stirring it, why is not possible to store electric energy from a lightning.
4 hours ago
What can we scientifically measure directly?
21 hours ago
Can we use a permanent magnet and a copper rod to create an electret?
Nov 10, 2023
Why is the test charge always positive?
Link movement in x-y-z axis.
Nov 8, 2023
More from Other Physics Topics
Faster fusion reactor calculations thanks to machine learning
Mar 22, 2021
Software to simulate commercial nuclear reactors
Jan 7, 2020
New photonic neural networks promise ultrafast computing for complex tasks
Sep 12, 2023
New method for comparing neural networks exposes how artificial intelligence works
Sep 13, 2022
An 'introspective' AI finds diversity improves performance
Aug 31, 2023
Teaching physics to neural networks removes 'chaos blindness'
Jun 19, 2020
Recommended for you
Study resolves puzzles in gravitational collapse of gravitational waves
Nov 15, 2023
CERN researchers see shape shifting in gold nuclei
Using heavy-ion collisions at the LHC, scientists determine the thickness of neutron 'skin' in lead-208 nuclei
Putting sound waves to work to create safer public spaces
Nov 14, 2023
The CMS collaboration at CERN presents its latest search for 'dark photons'
Nov 13, 2023
Muon g-2 experiment measures the positive muon anomalous magnetic moment to 0.20 ppm
Let us know if there is a problem with our content.
Use this form if you have come across a typo, inaccuracy or would like to send an edit request for the content on this page. For general inquiries, please use our contact form . For general feedback, use the public comments section below (please adhere to guidelines ).
Please select the most appropriate category to facilitate processing of your request
Thank you for taking time to provide your feedback to the editors.
Your feedback is important to us. However, we do not guarantee individual replies due to the high volume of messages.
E-mail the story
Your email address is used only to let the recipient know who sent the email. Neither your address nor the recipient's address will be used for any other purpose. The information you enter will appear in your e-mail message and is not retained by Phys.org in any form.
Newsletter sign up
Get weekly and/or daily updates delivered to your inbox. You can unsubscribe at any time and we'll never share your details to third parties.
Donate and enjoy an ad-free experience
We keep our content available to everyone. Consider supporting Science X's mission by getting a premium account.
New York Post
Jets offense hoping to finally solve ‘frustrating’ penalty problem
Posted: November 17, 2023 | Last updated: November 17, 2023
The Jets already had touchdown and turnover issues that needed addressing, and now they’ve added a recent penalty dilemma to fix, too.
Seven of their eight penalties in Sunday’s loss to the Raiders occurred while on offense, which means 12 of 16 across the past two games have been committed by that unit.
The “frustrating” part of the trend, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said, stems from most of those happening “during combat” — the Jets have arrived at the right spot, executing the play correctly up until that moment, but will still draw the flag.
“And then in the heat of the battle, that happens,” Hackett said. “They didn’t mean to. They weren’t trying to. But those things happen. So for us as coaches, we just put our heads down and we just continually coach them on the details, the techniques so they can stay in great position and execute their block.”
Hackett and the other Jets coaches have pointed out the mistakes while watching film with players, corrected the details during meetings and then focused on technique during practice windows.
Referees attend practices, and head coach Robert Saleh receives a report to evaluate following the sessions.
Maybe the footwork was off.
Maybe the technique.
In the first quarter Sunday, C.J. Uzomah’s holding penalty nearly backed the Jets out of field-goal range, and another holding call on the next drive wiped out Breece Hall’s touchdown. Michael Carter was called for a chop-block penalty early in the second half that erased a third-down conversion, too. He was released two days later.
Sometimes, Saleh said Wednesday, a Jets penalty looked like it shouldn’t have been called. But other times, they’re “just plain as day.” Left guard Laken Tomlinson, who was flagged for holding Sunday, told The Post that the Jets settling into a rhythm, unlike practices, will prevent those in-game penalties. They need to find a flow, which at the same time could unlock the offense.
The Jets just don’t want those miscues to occur during key spots, Tomlinson said.
“It’s not something we’re panicking about,” tight end Tyler Conklin said, “but obviously something that needs to be cleaned up and something that we’re detailing everyday.”
When asked about the offense’s players-only meeting Tuesday, Hackett called players holding other players accountable “powerful” and “something that we need” as the Jets try to snap their touchdown drought — currently at 11 quarters plus an overtime — Sunday against the Bills.
Even Hackett said he never experienced a touchdown drought like this before.
“We just need to get over that hump, we need to get that first touchdown in a long time,” Hackett said, “and I think that is really going to help us.”
The Jets’ injury report remained the same as Wednesday.
OL Billy Turner (ankle), LB Chazz Surratt (ankle) and LB Sam Eguavoen (hip) didn’t practice, while OL Mekhi Becton (knee), DL Will McDonald IV (ankle) and WR Garrett Wilson (elbow) were limited.
OL Duane Brown (hip), DL John Franklin-Myers (knee), LB Quincy Williams (knee) and TE Kenny Yeboah (hamstring) were full participants.
More for You
Newly released audio reveals Trump’s words about January 6 crowd
Experts raise alarm after Biden strikes agreement with China to shut down fossil fuels
Between Friends by Sandra Bell-Lundy
Iran's betrayal leaves Hamas nowhere to go
Friday night's meteor shower could be spectacular. Here's when to watch and where to look.
Chilling map shows the utter devastation of a nuclear attack on the US
Donald Trump's Interactions With Secret Service on Jan. 6 Revealed in Audio
It’s not just a stereotype: Gen Z really does ‘have a work ethic problem’
Balance of Nature ordered to stop sales of supplements after FDA lawsuits
The seven new types of old age – and how to tell which one you are
Here Are All the States That Don’t Tax Social Security Benefits
Worried about Western jets, Russia is likely to risk its early warning planes near the front lines to give its formidable S-400s an edge, intel says
Map Showing U.S. Targets Sparks Fears of Attacks
Report: Texas A&M Interviews Group of Five Standout for Coaching Vacancy
The Lockhorns by Bunny Hoest and John Reiner
Scientists Calculated How Much Exercise You Need to 'Offset' a Day of Sitting
These Are the Only TV Brands You Should Ever Consider
A Russian official said soldiers are dying in large numbers, but he'll get in trouble if he doesn't send more to fight, leaked video shows
Leaked coup tapes upend the Georgia RICO case: Melber Report
Michigan Football Fires Linebackers Coach Chris Partridge