Facebook Twiter Goole Plus Linked In YouTube Blogger

Problem Solving

Problem solving is the Capacity and Ability to Evaluate Information and to Predict Future Outcomes. The Ability to Seek out Logical Solutions to Problems, Calmly and Systematically, without making things worse.

"There are no Problems, only Solutions"

Previous SubjectNext Subject

Every Problem can be solved, you just have to learn how to solve it. There is a process to problem solving, but you also need skills, knowledge and information in order to be a good problem solver. Problem Solving Skills are the most important skills to have. They are the most widely used skills in every human’s life. The majority of our lives are spent solving problems. Most problems are easy to solve and take very little time, while other problems could take hours, days, weeks, months and even years to solve. But if you don't start, you will never finish, and the problem will never go away.

Problem Solving Process (PDF)
Problem Solving and Human Expertise (PDF)
Problem Solving Skills

"Any problem worth solving will always be difficult to solve, it's not impossible, it's just a lot of work" 

The Five W's and an H are questions whose answers are considered basic in information-gathering or problem-solving.

Problem Based Learning is a student-centered pedagogy in which students learn about a subject through the experience of solving an open-ended problem. Students learn both thinking strategies and domain knowledge.

Project Based Learning is a student-centered pedagogy that involves a dynamic classroom approach in which students acquire a deeper knowledge through active exploration of real-world challenges and problems. Students learn about a subject by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, challenge, or problem. It is a style of active learning and inquiry-based learning. PBL contrasts with paper-based, rote memorization, or teacher-led instruction that simply presents established facts or portrays a smooth path to knowledge by instead posing questions, problems or scenarios.
Using Experience in Learning and Problem Solving (PDF)
Brain Gears
Learning Methods
Collaboration - Skill Sharing
Decision Making
Problem Solving Words
Problem Solving Tips
Communication Skills
Capstone Project

Problem Solving consists of using generic or ad hoc methods, in an orderly manner, for finding solutions to problems. First gather as much information about the subject as you can. Then learn as much as you can about how this Information relates to each other and to the subject.

8 Disciplines of Problem Solving
Plan: Plan for solving the problem and determine the prerequisites.
1: Use a Team: Establish a team of people with product/process knowledge.
2: Describe the Problem: Specify the problem by identifying in quantifiable terms the who, what, where, when, why, how, and how many (5W2H) for the problem.
3: Develop Interim Containment Plan: Define and implement containment actions to isolate the problem from any customer.
4: Determine, and Verify Root Causes and Escape Points: Identify all applicable causes that could explain why the problem has occurred. Also identify why the problem was not noticed at the time it occurred. All causes shall be verified or proved. One can use five whys or Ishikawa diagrams to map causes against the effect or problem identified.
5: Verify Permanent Corrections (PCs) for Problem will resolve problem for the customer: Using pre-production programs, quantitatively confirm that the selected correction will resolve the problem. (Verify that the correction will actually solve the problem.)
6: Define and Implement Corrective Actions: Define and Implement the best corrective actions.
7: Prevent System Problems: Modify the management systems, operation systems, practices, and procedures to prevent recurrence of this and all similar problems.
8: Congratulate Your Team: Recognize the collective efforts of the team. The team needs to be formally thanked by the organization. Big 6 Methods 

Situated Cognition is a theory that posits that knowing is inseparable from doing by arguing that all knowledge is situated in activity bound to social, cultural and physical contexts.

How to Solve It
First, you have to understand the problem. "Understanding the problem is the first step in solving it."
After understanding, then make a plan.
Carry out the plan.
Look back on your work. How could it be better?
After Action Review  is a structured review or de-brief process for analyzing what happened, why it happened, and how it can be done better by the participants and those responsible for the project or event.

Case-Based Reasoning is the process of solving new problems based on the solutions of similar past problems.

Improvisation is the process of devising a solution to a requirement by making-do, despite absence of resources that might be expected to produce a solution. Hacking

Affect Heuristic is a mental shortcut that allows people to make decisions and solve problems quickly and efficiently. 

Heuristic is any approach to problem solving, learning, or discovery that employs a practical method not guaranteed to be optimal or perfect, but sufficient for the immediate goals. Where finding an optimal solution is impossible or impractical, heuristic methods can be used to speed up the process of finding a satisfactory solution. Heuristics can be mental shortcuts that ease the cognitive load of making a decision. Examples of this method include using a rule of thumb, an educated guess, an intuitive judgment, stereotyping, profiling, or common sense.

Panacea is a solution for all problems. Hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases; Improving Education is a Panacea

Recursion (computer science) in computer science is a method where the solution to a problem depends on solutions to smaller instances of the same problem (as opposed to iteration). The approach can be applied to many types of problems, and recursion is one of the central ideas of computer science.

Finite Element Method is a numerical technique for finding approximate solutions to boundary value problems for partial differential equations. It is also referred to as finite element analysis (FEA). FEM subdivides a large problem into smaller, simpler, parts, called finite elements.

Root Cause is an initiating cause of either a condition or a causal chain that leads to an outcome or effect of interest. Commonly, root cause is used to describe the depth in the causal chain where an intervention could reasonably be implemented to improve performance or prevent an undesirable outcome.

Root Cause Analysis is a method of problem solving used for identifying the root causes of faults or problems. A factor is considered a root cause if removal thereof from the problem-fault-sequence prevents the final undesirable event from recurring; whereas a causal factor is one that affects an event's outcome, but is not a root cause. Though removing a causal factor can benefit an outcome, it does not prevent its recurrence with certainty. "The Root of the Problem"

Troubleshooting is a form of problem solving, often applied to repair failed products or processes. It is a logical, systematic search for the source of a problem in order to solve it, and make the product or process operational again. Troubleshooting is needed to identify the symptoms. Determining the most likely cause is a process of elimination—eliminating potential causes of a problem. Finally, troubleshooting requires confirmation that the solution restores the product or process to its working state.

Trial and Error is a fundamental method of solving problems. It is characterised by repeated, varied attempts which are continued until success, or until the agent stops trying. 

Unit Testing is a software testing method by which individual units of source code, sets of one or more computer program modules together with associated control data, usage procedures, and operating procedures, are tested to determine whether they are fit for use.

Result is the final consequence of a sequence of actions or events expressed qualitatively or quantitatively. Possible results include advantage, disadvantage, gain, injury, loss, value and victory. There may be a range of possible outcomes associated with an event depending on the point of view, historical distance or relevance. Reaching no result can mean that actions are inefficient, ineffective, meaningless or flawed.

Evaluating is a systematic determination of a subject's merit, worth and significance, using criteria governed by a set of standards. Information Literacy

Measurement is the assignment of a number to a characteristic of an object or event, which can be compared with other objects or events.

Risk Assessment

Demonstration Proof is a deductive argument for a mathematical statement. In the argument, other previously established statements, such as theorems, can be used. In principle, a proof can be traced back to self-evident or assumed statements, known as axioms, along with accepted rules of inference
Evidence is anything presented in support of an assertion. This support may be strong or weak. The strongest type of evidence is that which provides direct proof of the truth of an assertion. At the other extreme is evidence that is merely consistent with an assertion but does not rule out other, contradictory assertions, as in circumstantial evidence.
Anecdotal Evidence is evidence from anecdotes. Where only one or a few anecdotes are presented, there is a larger chance that they may be unreliable due to cherry-picked or otherwise non-representative samples of typical cases.
Coincidence is a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances which have no apparent causal connection with each other.
Operational Research is a discipline that deals with the application of advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions.

Well-Posed Problem is when a solution exists, the solution is unique, and the solution's behavior changes continuously with the initial conditions.

Regularization (mathematics) is a process of introducing additional information in order to solve an ill-posed problem or to prevent overfitting.

Overfitting is to fit a "model" to a set of training data, so as to be able to make reliable predictions on general untrained data. In overfitting, a statistical model describes random error or noise instead of the underlying relationship. Overfitting occurs when a model is excessively complex, such as having too many parameters relative to the number of observations. A model that has been overfit has poor predictive performance, as it overreacts to minor fluctuations in the training data.

Analyzing - Analysis

Verification and Validation are independent procedures that are used together for checking that a product, service, or system meets requirements and specifications and that it fulfills its intended purpose. 

Inference is the act or process of deriving logical conclusions from premises known or assumed to be true.

Proactivity refers to anticipatory, change-oriented and self-initiated behavior in situations, particularly in the workplace. Proactive behavior involves acting in advance of a future situation, rather than just reacting. It means taking control and making things happen rather than just adjusting to a situation or waiting for something to happen. Proactive employees generally do not need to be asked to act, nor do they require detailed instructions.

Mind Maps
Creative Process

Parameter is any characteristic that can help in defining or classifying a particular system (meaning an event, project, object, or situation, etc). That is, a parameter is an element of a system that is useful, or critical, when evaluating the identity of a system; or, when evaluating the performance, status, condition, etc. of a system.
Spectrum is a condition that is not limited to a specific set of values but can vary infinitely within a continuum.

Failure - Mistakes
Theoretical Definition
Accuracy and Precision

Alternatives is one of a number of choices and options from which to choose from.
Alternative Dispute Resolution includes dispute resolution processes and techniques that act as a means for disagreeing parties to come to an agreement short of litigation. It is a collective term for the ways that parties can settle disputes, with (or without) the help of a third party.

Anomaly is a deviation from the normal or common order or form or rule.
monkey thinking
Scientific Methods


Doubt characterises a status in which the mind remains suspended between two contradictory propositions and unable to assent to either of them. Doubt on an emotional level is indecision between belief and disbelief. Doubt involves uncertainty, distrust or lack of sureness of an alleged fact, an action, a motive, or a decision. Doubt questions a notion of a perceived "reality", and may involve delaying or rejecting relevant action out of concerns for mistakes or faults or appropriateness. (compare paradox).

Dilemma is a problem offering two possibilities, neither of which is unambiguously acceptable or preferable. One in this position has been traditionally described as "being on the horns of a dilemma", neither horn being comfortable. This is sometimes more colorfully described as "Finding oneself impaled upon the horns of a dilemma", referring to the sharp points of a bull's horns, equally uncomfortable (and dangerous).

Ad Hoc generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, non-generalizable, and not intended to be able to be adapted to other purposes (compare with a priori). Repurpose

Methodology is the systematic, theoretical analysis of the methods applied to a field of study. It comprises the theoretical analysis of the body of methods and principles associated with a branch of knowledge. Typically, it encompasses concepts such as paradigm, theoretical model, phases and quantitative or qualitative techniques.

Syllogism is a kind of logical argument that applies deductive reasoning to arrive at a conclusion based on two or more propositions that are asserted or assumed to be true.

Construct in the philosophy of science is an ideal object, where the existence of the thing may be said to depend upon a subject's mind. This contrasts with a real object, where existence does not seem to depend on the existence of a mind.

Concept is a generalization or abstraction from experience or the result of a transformation of existing Ideas.

Closed Concept is a concept where all the necessary and sufficient conditions required to include something within the concept can be listed. For example, the concept of a triangle is closed because a three-sided polygon, and only a three-sided polygon, is a triangle. All the conditions required to call something a triangle can be, and are, listed.

Concept Analysis is a principled way of deriving a concept hierarchy or formal ontology from a collection of objects and their properties. Each concept in the hierarchy represents the set of objects sharing the same values for a certain set of properties; and each sub-concept in the hierarchy contains a subset of the objects in the concepts above it.

Conceptual Framework is an analytical tool with several variations and contexts. It is used to make conceptual distinctions and organize ideas. Strong conceptual frameworks capture something real and do this in a way that is easy to remember and apply

Expectancy Theory proposes an individual will behave or act in a certain way because they are motivated to select a specific behavior over other behaviors due to what they expect the result of that selected behavior will be. In essence, the motivation of the behavior selection is determined by the desirability of the outcome. However, at the core of the theory is the cognitive process of how an individual processes the different motivational elements. This is done before making the ultimate choice. The outcome is not the sole determining factor in making the decision of how to behave.

Paradox is a statement that, despite apparently sound reasoning from true premises, leads to a self-contradictory or a logically unacceptable conclusion. Some logical paradoxes are known to be invalid arguments but are still valuable in promoting critical thinking.

Paradigm is a distinct set of concepts or thought patterns, including theories, research methods, postulates, and standards for what constitutes legitimate contributions to a field. Systematic arrangement of all the inflected forms of a word. The generally accepted perspective of a particular discipline at a given time.


Dichotomy is a partition of a whole (or a set) into two parts (subsets). In other words, this couple of parts must be jointly exhaustive: everything must belong to one part or the other, and mutually exclusive: nothing can belong simultaneously to both parts.

Dialectic is a discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject but wishing to establish the truth through reasoned arguments.

Pragmatism is the doctrine that practical consequences are the criteria of knowledge and meaning and value. The attribute of accepting the facts of life and favoring practicality and literal truth. Philosophy

Reduction Complexity is an algorithm for transforming one problem into another problem. A reduction from one problem to another may be used to show that the second problem is at least as difficult as the first.

Determinism is the philosophical doctrine that all events transpire in virtue of some necessity and are therefore inevitable. Traditionally, the view relies on strict notions of causality, and most philosophical arguments in its favor have attempted at clear definitions of cause and effect as a basis for the belief that determinism is true.

Critical Thinking is clear, rational thinking involving critique. Making clear, reasoned judgments. Ideas should be reasoned, well thought out, and judged. Intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. "Critical Thinking is Critical"

Analytical Skill is the ability to visualize, articulate, conceptualize or solve both complex and uncomplicated problems by making decisions that are sensible given the available information. Such skills include demonstration of the ability to apply logical thinking to breaking complex problems into their component parts.

Critical Theory is reflective assessments and critique of society and culture by applying knowledge from the social sciences and the humanities.

Critical Thinking
Critical Thinking
Creative Thinking
Thinking Styles
Computational Thinking

Understanding Information - Formulating

Making Comparisons

Strategist is a person with responsibility for the formulation and implementation of a strategy. Strategy generally involves setting goals, determining actions to achieve the goals, and mobilizing resources to execute the actions. A strategy describes how the ends (goals) will be achieved by the means (resources).

Levels of Complexity

Synchronization is the coordination of events to operate a system in unison. The familiar conductor of an orchestra serves to keep the orchestra in time. Systems operating with all their parts in synchrony are said to be synchronous or in sync; those which are not are asynchronous.

Hypothesis Testing is a hypothesis that is testable on the basis of observing a process that is modeled via a set of random variables. A statistical hypothesis test is a method of statistical inference. Commonly, two statistical data sets are compared, or a data set obtained by sampling is compared against a synthetic data set from an idealized model. A hypothesis is proposed for the statistical relationship between the two data sets, and this is compared as an alternative to an idealized null hypothesis that proposes no relationship between two data sets

Factoid a false statement presented as a fact. Lie

Axiom is a statement (in mathematics often shown in symbolic form) that is so evident or well-established, that it is accepted without controversy or question. Thus, the axiom can be used as the premise or starting point for further reasoning or arguments, usually in logic or in mathematics.

Pattern Recognition
Analyzing Information

Calibration is the process of finding a relationship between two quantities that are unknown (when the measurable quantities are not given a particular value for the amount considered or found a standard for the quantity). When one of quantity is known, which is made or set with one device, another measurement is made as similar way as possible with the first device using a second device. The measurable quantities may differ in two devices which are equivalent. The device with the known or assigned correctness is called the standard. The second device is the unit under test, test instrument, or any of several other names for the device being calibrated.

Conjecture is a conclusion or proposition based on incomplete information, for which no proof has been found.

Means-ends Analysis is a strategy to control search in problem-solving. Given a current state and a goal state, an action is chosen which will reduce the difference between the two. The action is performed on the current state to produce a new state, and the process is recursively applied to this new state and the goal state.
Note that, in order for MEA to be effective, the goal-seeking system must have a means of associating to any kind of detectable difference those actions that are relevant to reducing that difference. It must also have means for detecting the progress it is making (the changes in the differences between the actual and the desired state), as some attempted sequences of actions may fail and, hence, some alternate sequences may be tried.
When knowledge is available concerning the importance of differences, the most important difference is selected first to further improve the average performance of MEA over other brute-force search strategies. However, even without the ordering of differences according to importance, MEA improves over other search heuristics (again in the average case) by focusing the problem solving on the actual differences between the current state and that of the goal


Catch-22 is a paradoxical situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contradictory rules. An example would be: To apply for a job, you need to have a few years of experience. But in order to gain experience, you need to get a job first.

Odds is the likelihood that the event will take place. Odds against reflect the likelihood that a particular event will not take place.

Scientific Examination


Sometimes the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one (Occam's Razor)

Puzzles - Brain Games
Ingenuity - Innovation  


Decision MakingThink Idea Lightbulb is the cognitive process resulting in the selection of a belief or a course of action among several alternative possibilities. Every decision-making process produces a final choice that may or may not prompt action. Decision-making is the process of identifying and choosing alternatives based on the values and preferences of the decision-maker.

This is the best decision we can make at this time based on our current level of knowledge and information.

Avoid fear-based decisions or escape-based decisions, focus on target-based decisions.

Everyone can make better decisions, and everyone has the ability to make good decisions, but not everyone is aware of what good decisions they can make or what good choices are available. This is why informing the public, and educating every student to the highest degree is absolutely necessary. This is life or death decision. And I choose life, like most people do.

People realize the problems in the world but they don't know how to solve these problems. You must put the process of problem solving in motion. You need to find short term and long term solutions. We need to go beyond just treating social diseases, we need to cure these diseases once and for all.

Analysis Paralysis or paralysis by analysis is the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. A decision can be treated as over-complicated, with too many detailed options, so that a choice is never made, rather than try something and change if a major problem arises. A person might be seeking the optimal or "perfect" solution upfront, and fear making any decision which could lead to erroneous results, while on the way to a better solution.

Recognition Primed Decision is a model of how people make quick, effective decisions when faced with complex situations. In this model, the decision maker is assumed to generate a possible course of action, compare it to the constraints imposed by the situation, and select the first course of action that is not rejected.

Consensus Decision-Making is a group decision-making process in which group members develop, and agree to support, a decision in the best interest of the whole. Consensus may be defined professionally as an acceptable resolution, one that can be supported, even if not the "favourite" of each individual. Consensus is defined by Merriam-Webster as, first, general agreement, and second, group solidarity of belief or sentiment.
Democracy - Consensus Decision Making

Consensus is a group decision-making process in which group members develop, and agree to support, a decision in the best interest of the whole. Consensus may be defined professionally as an acceptable resolution, one that can be supported, even if not the "favourite" of each individual.

Scientific Consensus is the collective judgment, position, and opinion of the community of scientists in a particular field of study. Consensus implies general agreement, though not necessarily unanimity. Consensus is normally achieved through communication at conferences, the publication process, replication (reproducible results by others), and peer review. These lead to a situation in which those within the discipline can often recognize such a consensus where it exists, but communicating to outsiders that consensus has been reached can be difficult, because the 'normal' debates through which science progresses may seem to outsiders as contestation. On occasion, scientific institutes issue position statements intended to communicate a summary of the science from the "inside" to the "outside" of the scientific community. In cases where there is little controversy regarding the subject under study, establishing what the consensus is can be quite straightforward.

Peer Review is the evaluation of work by one or more people of similar competence to the producers of the work (peers). It constitutes a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards of quality, improve performance, and provide credibility.

Group Decision-Making is a situation faced when individuals collectively make a choice from the alternatives before them. The decision is then no longer attributable to any single individual who is a member of the group. This is because all the individuals and social group processes such as social influence contribute to the outcome. The decisions made by groups are often different from those made by individuals. Group polarization is one clear example: groups tend to make decisions that are more extreme
than those of its individual members, in the direction of the individual inclinations. Truth

Group Cognition is a social, largely linguistic phenomenon whereby a group of people produce a sequence of utterances that performs a cognitive act. That is, if a similar sequence was uttered or thought by an individual it would be considered an act of cognition or thinking. The group can be a small group, such as 3-5 people talking together or working together online. The group can also be a larger collective, such as a classroom of students or a global community contributing asynchronously to an extended discourse on a problem or topic or to a knowledge repository like Wikipedia. The theory of group cognition is a postcognitivism philosophy, which considers a larger unit of analysis than an individual mind as a producer of cognitive activities such as creative problem solving.
Group Polarization refers to the tendency for a group to make decisions that are more extreme than the initial inclination of its members. These more extreme decisions are towards greater risk if individuals' initial tendencies are to be risky and towards greater caution if individuals' initial tendencies are to be cautious. The phenomenon also holds that a group's attitude toward a situation may change in the sense that the individuals' initial attitudes have strengthened and intensified after group discussion, a phenomenon known as attitude polarization.

Shared Decision-Making (SDM) is an approach in which clinicians and patients communicate together using the best available evidence when faced with the task of making decisions. Patients are supported to deliberate about the possible attributes and consequences of options, to arrive at informed preferences in making a determination about the best course of action which respects patient autonomy, as well as ethical and legal norms.

Decision Support System is a computer-based information system that supports business or organizational decision-making activities. DSSs serve the management, operations, and planning levels of an organization (usually mid and higher management) and help people make decisions about problems that may be rapidly changing and not easily specified in advance—i.e. Unstructured and Semi-Structured decision problems. Decision support systems can be either fully computerized, human-powered or a combination of both. Knowledge Management

Decision Making Software is used to help individuals and organizations with their decision-making processes, typically resulting in ranking, sorting or choosing from among alternatives.

Decision Matrix is a list of values in rows and columns that allows an analyst to systematically identify, analyze, and rate the performance of relationships between sets of values and information. Elements of a decision matrix show decisions based on certain decision criteria. The matrix is useful for looking at large masses of decision factors and assessing each factor’s relative significance. Decision matrix is used to describe a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) problem. Visualizing

Computational Thinking is a way of solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior that draws on concepts fundamental to computer science. Computational thinking is thinking in terms of abstractions, invariably multiple layers of abstraction at once. Computational thinking is about the automation of these abstractions. The automaton could be an algorithm, a Turing machine, a tangible device, a software system—or the human brain

Computational Thinking is the thought processes involved in formulating a problem and expressing its solution(s) in such a way that a computer—human or machine—can effectively carry out. Computational Thinking is an iterative process based on three stages: 1) Problem Formulation (abstraction), 2) Solution Expression (automation), and 3) Solution Execution & Evaluation (analyses) captured by the figure to the right.

Decision Theory is the study of the reasoning underlying an agent's choices. Decision theory can be broken into two branches: normative decision theory, which gives advice on how to make the best decisions, given a set of uncertain beliefs and a set of values; and descriptive decision theory, which analyzes how existing, possibly irrational agents actually make decisions.

Reflective Decision Theory is a term occasionally used to refer to a decision theory that would allow an agent to take actions in a way that does not trigger regret. This regret is conceptualized, according to the Causal Decision Theory, as a Reflective inconsistency, a divergence between the agent who took the action and the same agent reflecting upon it after.

Rational Choice Theory is a framework for understanding and often formally modeling social and economic behavior. The basic premise of rational choice theory is that aggregate social behavior results from the behavior of individual actors, each of whom is making their individual decisions. The theory therefore focuses on the determinants of the individual choices (methodological individualism).

Decision Tree Learning uses a decision tree as a predictive model which maps observations about an item (represented in the branches) to conclusions about the item's target value (represented in the leaves). It is one of the predictive modelling approaches used in statistics, data mining and machine learning. Tree models where the target variable can take a finite set of values are called classification trees; in these tree structures, leaves represent class labels and branches represent conjunctions of features that lead to those class labels. Decision trees where the target variable can take continuous values (typically real numbers) are called regression trees.

Decision Tree is a decision support tool that uses a tree-like graph or model of decisions and their possible consequences,
including chance event outcomes, resource costs, and utility. It is one way to display an algorithm. Decision trees are commonly used in operations research, specifically in decision analysis, to help identify a strategy most likely to reach a goal, but are also a popular tool in machine learning.

Menu Interfaces

Knowledge Management

Info-Gap Decision Theory is a non-probabilistic decision theory that seeks to optimize robustness to failure – or opportuneness for windfall – under severe uncertainty, in particular applying sensitivity analysis of the stability radius type to perturbations in the value of a given estimate of the parameter of interest. It has some connections with Wald's maximin model; some authors distinguish them, others consider them instances of the same principle.

Opportunity Cost is the Value of the best alternative forgone where, given limited resources, a choice needs to be made between several mutually exclusive alternatives. Assuming the best choice is made, it is the "cost" incurred by not enjoying the benefit that would have been had by taking the second best available choice.

Development Process

Probability Interpretations Does probability measure the real, physical tendency of something to occur or is it a measure of how strongly one believes it will occur, or does it draw on both these elements? In answering such questions, mathematicians interpret the probability values of probability theory. Odds

Operational Research is a discipline that deals with the application of advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions.

Decision Making and Problem Solving
Problem Solving Techniques

Decentralization is the process of redistributing or dispersing functions, powers, people or things away from a central location or authority.

Praxeology is the deductive study of human action based on the notion that humans engage in purposeful behavior, as opposed to reflexive behavior like sneezing and inanimate behavior. According to its theorists, with the action axiom as the starting point, it is possible to draw conclusions about human behavior that are both objective and universal. For example, the notion that humans engage in acts of choice implies that they have preferences, and this must be true for anyone who exhibits intentional behavior.

Nonlinear System is a system in which the output is not directly proportional to the input. Nonlinear problems are of interest to engineers, physicists and mathematicians and many other scientists because most systems are inherently nonlinear in nature. Nonlinear systems may appear chaotic, unpredictable or counterintuitive, contrasting with the much simpler linear systems.

Arbitrariness is the quality of being "determined by chance, whim, or impulse, and not by necessity, reason, or principle."


Operations Research is a discipline that deals with the application of advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions.

Hick's Law the time it takes for a person to make a decision as a result of the possible choices he or she has: increasing the number of choices will increase the decision time logarithmically. The Hick–Hyman law assesses cognitive information capacity in choice reaction experiments. The amount of time taken to process a certain amount of bits in the Hick–Hyman law is known as the rate of gain of information.

Case-by-Case is used to describe decisions that are made separately, each according to the facts of the particular situation.
Ad hoc is for one specific case, or improvised for one specific purpose. Analyze

Two Types of Problem-Solving Models (PDF)  Tuition
PS Expertise
College Student’s Guide to Computers in Education - Chapter 3: Expertise and Problem Solving
Problem Solving
Scientific Method
Dan Ariely Decisions

Artificial Intelligence

Making a Comprehensive Plan of Action - Predictions

Prediction is a measurement or a belief about something that may happen in the future. A statement about an uncertain event. It is often, but not always, based upon experience or knowledge. 

Probability - Scenarios - Precognition - Risk Assessment

Forecasting is the process of making predictions of the Future based on past and present data and analysis of trends.

Predictive Analytics encompasses a variety of statistical techniques from predictive modeling, machine learning, and data mining that analyze current and historical facts to make predictions about future or otherwise unknown events
Predictive Modeling uses statistics to predict outcomes. Most often the event one wants to predict is in the future, but predictive modelling can be applied to any type of unknown event, regardless of when it occurred. For example, predictive models are often used to detect crimes and identify suspects, after the crime has taken place.
Prediction Interval is an estimate of an interval in which future observations will fall, with a certain probability, given what has already been observed. Prediction intervals are often used in regression analysis.
Conditional Probability is a measure of the probability of an event given that (by assumption, presumption, assertion or evidence) another event has occurred.
Prediction System (PDF)

Theory of Change is a specific type of methodology for planning, participation, and evaluation that is used in the philanthropy, not-for-profit and government sectors to promote social change. Theory of Change defines long-term goals and then maps backward to identify necessary preconditions.

Preparedness refers to a very concrete research based set of actions that are taken as precautionary measures in the face of potential disasters. These actions can include both physical preparations (such as emergency supplies depots, adapting buildings to survive earthquakes and so on) and trainings for emergency action. Preparedness is an important quality in achieving goals and in avoiding and mitigating negative outcomes. There are different types of preparedness, such as public health preparedness and local emergency preparedness or snow preparedness (i.e.: Snow Preparedness Teams - SPT), but probably the most developed type is "Disaster Preparedness", defined by the UN as involving "forecasting and taking precautionary measures prior to an imminent threat when advance warnings are possible". This includes not only natural disasters, but all kinds of severe damage caused in a relatively short period, including warfare. Preparedness is a major phase of emergency management, and is particularly valued in areas of competition such as sport and military science.

Contingency Plan is a plan devised for an outcome other than in the usual (expected) plan.

Intelligence Assessment is the development of forecasts of behavior or recommended courses of action to the leadership of an organisation, based on a wide range of available information sources both overt and covert. Assessments are developed in response to requirements declared by the leadership in order to inform decision making.

Vulnerability Assessment is the process of identifying, quantifying, and prioritizing (or ranking) the vulnerabilities in a system.
Staging Area  is a location where organisms, people, vehicles, equipment or material are assembled before use.

Early Warning System is a major element of disaster risk reduction. It prevents loss of life and reduces the economic and material impact of disasters. To be effective, early warning systems need to actively involve the communities at risk, facilitate public education and awareness of risks, effectively disseminate alerts, and warnings and ensure there is constant state of preparedness. A complete and effective early warning system supports four main functions: risk analysis, monitoring and warning; dissemination and communication; and a response capability.

Planning or forethought, is the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve a desired goal. It involves the creation and maintenance of a plan, such as psychological aspects that require conceptual skills. There are even a couple of tests to measure someone’s capability of planning well. As such, planning is a fundamental property of intelligent behavior.

Strategy is a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty. In the sense of the "art of the general", which included several subsets of skills including "tactics", siegecraft, logistics etc.,
Strategic Planning is an organization's process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy. It may also extend to control mechanisms for guiding the implementation of the strategy.
Strategy Dynamics concerns the ‘content’ of strategy – initiatives, choices, policies and decisions adopted in an attempt to improve performance, and the results that arise from these managerial behaviors.
Strategic Planning Models 

Rational Planning Model is a model of the planning process involving a number of rational actions or steps....Definition of the problems and/or goals; Identification of alternative plans/policies; Evaluation of alternative plans/policies; Implementation of plans/policies; Monitoring of effects of plans/policies.

Interactive Planning focuses on creating the future by designing a desirable present. Interactive planning is unlike other types of planning, such as reactive planning, inactive planning, and preactive planning. Interactive planning has three unique characteristics: Interactive planning works backwards from where an organization wants to be now to where it is now. Interactive planning is continuous; it does not start and stop. Interactive planning lets the organization’s stakeholders to be involved in the planning process. Interactive Planning has six phases, divided into two parts: Idealization and Realization.

Automated Planning and Scheduling is a branch of artificial intelligence that concerns the realization of strategies or action sequences, typically for execution by intelligent agents, autonomous robots and unmanned vehicles. Unlike classical control and classification problems, the solutions are complex and must be discovered and optimized in multidimensional space. Planning is also related to decision theory.

Researchers add a splash of Human Intuition to Planning Algorithms Incorporating strategies from skilled human planners improves automatic planners’ performance.
Oracle is someone who perceives the future intuitively or through some inexplicable perceptive powers.

Prospective Hindsight is a managerial strategy in which a manager imagines that a project or organization has failed, and then works backward to determine what potentially could lead to the failure of the project or organization. The technique breaks possible group thinking by facilitating a positive discussion on threats, increasing the likelihood the main threats are identified. Management can then analyze the magnitude and likelihood of each threat, and take preventative actions to protect the project or organization from suffering an untimely "death". (A pre-mortem, also known as a premortem).

Worst-case execution time is the maximum length of time the task could take to execute on a specific hardware platform.

Best, worst and average case what the resource usage is on average.

What's the worst case scenario?

Murphy's Law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Cause and Effect

Unintended Consequences are outcomes that are not the ones foreseen and intended by a purposeful action.

Time Management
Assessment Tools
Emergency Preparedness

Concept Driven Strategy is a process for formulating strategy that draws on the explanation of how humans inquire provided by linguistic pragmatic philosophy. This argues that thinking starts by selecting (explicitly or implicitly) a set of concepts (frames, patterns, lens, principles, etc.) gained from our past experiences. These are used to reflect on whatever happens, or is done, in the future.

Strategic Management involves the formulation and implementation of the major goals and initiatives taken by a company's top management on behalf of owners, based on consideration of resources and an assessment of the internal and external environments in which the organization competes

Rationality (reasoning)

Strategic Thinking is a mental or thinking process applied by an individual in the context of achieving success in a game or other endeavor. As a cognitive activity, it produces thought.
Systems Thinking is the cognitive process of studying and understanding systems of every kind. For others, the focus is on social organizations in particular.

Deliberate is something that is carefully thought out in advance. Unhurried and with care and dignity. Think about carefully; weigh. Discuss the pros and cons of an issue.
Calculate is to predict in advance. Judge to be probable.
Consider is to think about carefully. Regard or treat with consideration, respect, and esteem. Information that should be kept in mind when making a decision. Kind and considerate regard for others.
Measure is to evaluate or estimate the nature, quality, ability, extent, or significance of. How much there is or how many there are of something that you can quantify.
Debate is a discussion in which reasons are advanced for and against some proposition or proposal. Discuss the pros and cons of an issue. The formal presentation of a stated proposition and the opposition to it (usually followed by a vote).
Predict is to regard something as probable or likely. probable occurrence. reasoning about the future. tell in advance.
Actions Needed?

Survival Tips
City Planning

"If you fail to plan, then you're planning to fail."

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and a plan." 

Things To Do List

There's only so much planning that you can do. You can't plan for everything because something's are difficult to plan for. The best thing that you can do is to learn from your mistakes, and also share what you've learned so that others can avoid making the same mistakes that you did. There is always going to be some level of risk, but you have to make a decision. Just don't let the fear of risk stop you. And don't forget to balance your time between planning and doing. If you spend all your time planning, then you may end up planning to do nothing.

Think Aloud Protocol is a protocol used to gather data in usability testing in product design and development, in psychology and a range of social sciences (e.g., reading, writing, translation research, decision making, and process tracing).

Ordination Methods

Standardization is the process of implementing and developing technical standards based on the consensus of different parties that include firms, users, interest groups, standards organizations and governments Standardization can help to maximize compatibility, interoperability, safety, repeatability, or quality. It can also facilitate commoditization of formerly custom processes. In social sciences, including economics, the idea of standardization is close to the solution for a coordination problem, a situation in which all parties can realize mutual gains, but only by making mutually consistent decisions. This view includes the case of "spontaneous standardization processes", to produce de facto standards.

Positive Feed Back Loop
Feedback (public)

"Bringing hindsight to the present moment."

Collaboration Techniques - Collaboration Tools - Outsourcing - Brainstorming

Collaboration is the process of two or more people or organizations working together to realize mutual goals.
Collaboration Software Tools is an application software designed to help people involved in a common task to achieve their goals. One of the earliest definitions of collaborative software is 'intentional group processes plus software to support them
List of Collaborative Software
Collaborative Innovation Network is a social construct used to describe innovative teams. It has been defined by the originator of the term, Peter Gloor from MIT Sloan's Center for Collective Intelligence, as "a cyberteam of self-motivated people with a collective vision, enabled by the Web to collaborate in achieving a common goal by sharing ideas, information, and work.
Collaborative Working Environment supports people, such as e-professionals, in their individual and cooperative work. Research in CWE involves focusing on organizational, technical, and social issues. Diplomacy
Integrated Collaboration Environment is an environment in which a virtual team does its work. Such environments allow companies to realize a number of competitive advantages by using their existing computers and network infrastructure for group and personal collaboration. These fully featured environments combine the best features of web-based conferencing and collaboration, desktop videoconferencing, and instant message into a single easy-to-use, intuitive environment. Recent developments have allowed companies include streaming in real-time and archived modes into their ICE.
Peer Review is the evaluation of work by one or more people of similar competence to the producers of the work (peers). It constitutes a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field.
Collaborative Editing is the practice of groups producing works together through individual contributions. Effective choices in group awareness, participation, and coordination are critical to successful collaborative writing outcomes.
Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning is a pedagogical approach wherein learning takes place via social interaction using a computer or through the Internet. This kind of learning is characterized by the sharing and construction of knowledge among participants using technology as their primary means of communication or as a common resource. CSCL can be implemented in online and classroom learning environments and can take place synchronously or asynchronously.
Competitive Programming
Open Office is the generic term used in architectural and interior design for any floor plan which makes use of large, open spaces and minimizes the use of small, enclosed rooms such as private offices.
Fika Culture is a concept in Swedish culture with the basic meaning "to have coffee"
CERF Collaborative Framework facilitates productivity and decision making for both scientists and project managers.
Document-Centric Collaboration is a new approach to working together on projects online which puts the document and its contents at the centre of the process.
Web Conferencing may be used as an umbrella term for various types of online collaborative services including web seminars ("webinars"), webcasts, and peer-level web meetings. It may also be used in a more narrow sense to refer only to the peer-level web meeting context, in an attempt to disambiguate it from the other types of collaborative sessions. (Bull Session)
Cloud Computing is a type of Internet-based computing that provides shared computer processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand. It is a model for enabling ubiquitous, on-demand access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources.
Cognitive Fixation is the tendency for people working in groups to get stuck on other people’s ideas. "More hands make light work, but too many cooks in the kitchen could be less productive."

Video Conferencing - PC to PC

Data Sharing Tools
Dot.world Collaborative platforms to organize and curate content.
Free Conference Call
Google Docs - Share Docs - Google Apps
World Cafe Conversational Process
World Cafe
Draw Toast workshops. An Introduction to Systems Thinking and Wicked Problem Solving.
Salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation.
Document Cloud
Hip Chat
Ever Note
Wire Drive media management
Solve For X
Catch a Fire

Knowledge Management

Working Together

Cooperation is the process of groups of organisms working or acting together for common or mutual benefit, as opposed to working in competition for selfish benefit.
Co-operation (evolution) is the process where groups of organisms work or act together for common or mutual benefits. It is commonly defined as any adaptation that has evolved, at least in part, to increase the reproductive success of the actor’s social partners.


Conjunctive Tasks are a part of Steiner's taxonomy of group tasks. They are often studied when dealing with process losses in groups. Process loss is observed in groups when there is a reduction in their performance effectiveness or efficiency. This could be due to a variety of interpersonal processes, which may be caused by either motivation loss or coordination loss. Conjunctive tasks fall into the latter category of coordination problems in groups.

Coalition is a pact or treaty among individuals or groups, during which they cooperate in joint action, each in their own self-interest, joining forces together for a common cause. This alliance may be temporary or a matter of convenience. A coalition thus differs from a more formal covenant. Possibly described as a joining of 'factions', usually those with overlapping interests rather than opposing.

Innovation Management
Business Networking activity by which businesspeople and entrepreneurs meet to form business relationships and to recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities, share information and seek. potential partners for ventures.
Mesh Networking - Wireless Mesh Network
Collaborative Learning
Community Collaboration Methods
Group Decision Making - Shared Decision-Making - Consensus Decision Making
Social Collaboration
Brainstorming is a group creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a conclusion for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its members.
Wi-Fi Direct
Coops - Clubs
Support Groups
Public Service Announcement
Electronic Mailing List
Constant Contact
Social Networks
Money Alternatives
Marketing - Advertising
Knowledge Management 
Decision Support System
Operations Support System are computer systems used by telecommunications service providers to manage their networks (e.g., telephone networks). They support management functions such as network inventory, service provisioning, network configuration and fault management.
Life Support System is a group of devices that allow a human being to survive in space.
The Wisdom of Crowds - Internet
Focus Group is a form of qualitative research in which a group of people are asked about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes towards a product, service, concept, advertisement, idea, or packaging.
Meeting of the Minds used to describe the intentions of the parties forming the contract. In particular it refers to the situation where there is a common understanding in the formation of the contract. Formation of a contract is initiated with a proposal or offer. This condition or element is often considered a necessary requirement to the formation of a contract.
Mind Maps - Visuals 
Agile Software Development describes a set of principles for software development under which requirements and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organizing cross-functional teams. It advocates adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, and continuous improvement, and it encourages rapid and flexible response to change. These principles support the definition and continuing evolution of many software development methods.
Flash Mob  is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then quickly disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, and artistic expression.

Word of Mouth is the passing of information from person to person by oral communication, which could be as simple as telling someone the time of day. Storytelling is a common form of word-of-mouth communication where one person tells others a story about a real event or something made up. Oral tradition is cultural material and traditions transmitted by word of mouth through successive generations.
Crowd Sourcing  is the process of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, especially an online community, rather than from employees or suppliers.
Collaborative Classroom
Enterprise Interoperability is the ability of an enterprise—a company or other large organization—to functionally link activities, such as product design, supply chains, manufacturing, in an efficient and competitive way.

On-Demand Working
ConsultantPrinciples of On-Demand Economy
Independent Contractor 
Temporary Work
Contingent Workforce 
Task Rabbit
Task Us
Share your Skills
Maker Labs
Fancy Hands
Desk Camping
Employees Management
Amazon Mechanical Turk
Amazon Mechanical Turk (wiki)
Amazon Services
Alt Lab
Git Hub
Acu Lab
Human Search Engines
Git Control System
Brain Storming
The Collaborative Lab
Info Q
Farm out
Information Source
Research Sources
Moxie Insight

Working Together

Independent Learning - Creative Solitude
Social Networking

Meeting Guidelines

Record Meeting - Specify Time of Meeting - Specify Speaking Time allowed for Each Person - Specify Rules of the Meeting if Needed - Take Attendance - Facilitation of Meetings  Facilitator - Specify Agenda and Purpose of Meeting - List Action items - Provide Documents - Provide Visuals - List Topics - List Important Information - List Important Questions that need Answering - Humor - Review Results and the Progress of Previous Related Meetings - Allow People to speak and ask Questions - Assign People to Solve Problems - End Meeting with Brief Overview.  

Walking Meetings

When should you Multitask?
When should you ask for Help?
When should you Delegate?
Time Management

Capstone Project

Capstone projects should be about working on Real Problems, problems that need solving, like problems that are plaguing the world and plaguing local communities. This should involve extensive original investigation, methods of inquiry, critical thinking skills, creativity, scholarly research, communicating ideas, presentation, reading and writing skills and so on. And these skills need to be measured, tested and confirmed. Problems should not be considered to big to solve for this is a part of the learning experience. Capstone projects should prepare students for reality, otherwise you are just wasting time, people and resources. Just teaching Creativity and Innovation will not be enough. 

In order to solve the plethora of problems in our world you first have to educate people on how to be problem solvers, then and only then will our problems be solved. more education quotes

Capstone Project for Basic Knowledge 101

The First Problem: # 1
Students need to create ways to improve education on all levels. To accomplish this, students must collect the worlds most important and the most valuable knowledge and information that is available. Then design a curriculum based on that knowledge and information. This would include creating computerized courses and videotaping the best and most effective teaching lessons, and so on. Then Implementation and Feedback.

Why Improve Education?
Open Source Curriculum?
Hult Prize

The Second Problem: # 2
Once we have created the perfect education, students have to create ways to make sure that every person on the planet has access to a good education. The more educated and aware people are the more prepared they will be to solve problems. Educated people will also have the skills that are needed to improve their quality of life and improve the quality of life for others.  Laptops and USB Flash Memory Drives
Learning Methods - Teaching Methods
Open Source Education Resources

The Third Problem: # 3
Clean water for everyone, healthy food for everyone, clean and safe homes for everyone, clean and safe electricity for everyone, and jobs that make a positive difference for everyone.

The Big 5 Needs
Paul Gilding: The Earth is full (youtube)

Of course the problems in # 3, along with the thousands of other problems that people are faced with today, will never improve unless we fix problems # 1 and # 2. Team effort between schools is a must when working on this project. Working as a team will save time, people and resources, and at the same time, teach students about one of the important aspects of problem solving, which is teamwork.

How would you Teach it?
How would you Learn it?
How Would you Test it?

Capstone Project # 2

We'll call this "The Logic Movement"

"if you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem."

Capstone Research Projects Ideas

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"

"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them." (Albert Einstein)   Progress Trap

"Problems can't be solved unless they are identified"

"I see most computer problems as just a puzzle, a puzzle I must learn to solve. So when a computer problem arises I usually say "How do I solve this puzzle and where would be the best place to start?" So can learning how to solve complex puzzles teach us about Problem Solving? Of course. Problem solving is not a problem, it's a part of learning."  Learning Games

"Everything on this planet that is alive today is a direct result of information being passed forward and shared with the next generation of its species"...More

"To assume what other people are assuming is a Guessing Game I like to avoid. Looking Back with a backwards brain is
as useless as looking Forward with a backwards brain. Backwards Brain Meaning: Making assumptions based on outdated, incorrect or insufficient information. You don't have a question If you have Errors in your Premise, so your question makes
No Sense. There's no Relevance to it's timing and it applies to situations of little importance."

"Why would you force other people to fix your problems just because you don't want to take the time to fix your own problems, problems that you could easily fix yourself? This is not the same as asking for help. It's just that when people transfer or force their personal problems to other people without their permission, it only creates more problems."

Problem is a state of difficulty that needs to be resolved. A question raised for consideration or solution. A source of difficulty. An accident, misunderstanding, incidentals, mistake, consequence, emergency, phenomenon, error. Problematic is something open to doubt or debate. Making great mental demands; hard to comprehend or solve or believe. Not settled, uncertain, of uncertain outcome; debatable, questionable, open to doubt. Difficult to overcome, solve, or decide.

Solve is to find the solution to (a problem or question) or understand the meaning of. Figure out. Answer Correctly. 

Solution is a  statement that solves a problem or explains how to solve the problem. A method for solving a problem. Work out in Detail. The successful action of solving a problem. The set of values that give a true statement when substituted into an equation. Independent Learning

Resolution is finding a solution to a problem. Something settled or resolved; the outcome of decision making. A statement that solves a problem or explains how to solve the problem. A decision to do something or to behave in a certain manner.

Resolve is to reach a conclusion after a discussion or deliberation. Settle conclusively. Reach a decision. Find the solution. 
Reasoning - Diplomacy

Answer is a statement that solves a problem or explains how to solve the problem. Being sufficient and adequate enough to fulfill a need or requirement. Having the requisite qualities or resources to meet a task. Be satisfactory for; meet the requirements of or serve the purpose of, either in quality or quantity.

Change is an event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another. Become different in some particular way, without permanently losing one's or its former characteristics or essence. The result of alteration or modification. Exchange or replace with another, usually of the same kind or category. A difference that is usually pleasant.

Planning is an act of formulating a program for a definite course of action. The act or process of drawing up plans or layouts for some project or enterprise. The cognitive process of Thinking about what you will do in the event of something happening. Have the will and intention to carry out some action. Make a design of; plan out in systematic, often graphic form.

Method is a way of doing something, especially a systematic way; implies an orderly logical arrangement (usually in steps)
A condition of regular or proper arrangement.  Science Methodology

System is instrumentality that combines interrelated interacting artifacts designed to work as a coherent entity. An organized structure for arranging or classifying. A procedure or process for obtaining an objective. An ordered manner; orderliness by virtue of being methodical and well organized.
Positive Feed Back Loop
Feedback from the Public

Improvise is to make something up on the spot, or figure it out as you go. Manage in a makeshift way; do with whatever is at hand. Perform without preparation.

Trouble is an event causing distress or pain. To cause inconvenience or discomfort to.

Predicament is a situation from which extrication is difficult especially an unpleasant or trying one.

is the act of releasing from a snarled or tangled condition. Trauma

Circumstances are the set of facts or circumstances that surround a situation or event. Information that should be kept in mind when making a decision. A condition that accompanies or influences some event or activity. Extenuating Circumstances

Conditions is the state of things at a particular time. The prevailing context that influences the performance or the outcome of a process. The set of circumstances that affect someone's welfare. A state at a particular time. An assumption on which rests the validity or effect of something else. Information that should be kept in mind when making a decision. The procedure that is varied in order to estimate a variable's effect by comparison with a control condition.  Odds

Situation is the general state of things; the combination of circumstances at a given time. A complex or critical or unusual difficulty. Situationism (psychology) is an approach to behavior which holds that general traits do not exist (perhaps apart from Intelligence). Behavior, then, is seen as being influenced by external, situational factors rather than internal traits or motivations.

Difficulty is something that is not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure.
Something hard to control and almost beyond one's ability to deal with or overcome. A factor causing trouble in achieving a positive result or tending to produce a negative result. 

Challenge is a demanding or stimulating situation. 
Adventurous Undertakings 

Practical is being guided by practical experience and observation rather than theory. Being actually such in almost every respect. Having or put to a practical purpose or use.

Problem Solving Tips

Avoid asking the wrong questions, take time to define each problem carefully before trying to solve it. Ask yourself lots of different questions about the nature of the problem. Strive to look at problems from different perspectives and generate multiple solutions. When evaluating solutions, take time to think about how you should choose between options. Evaluate potential solutions carefully and thoroughly against a predefined standard. Once you choose a solution to a problem, develop an implementation plan with the sequence of events necessary for completing the problem solving task. After a solution has been implemented, immediately look for ways to improve the idea and avoid future problems. Address any belief issues and other consequences of the proposed solution so that others will understand and support the solution. Systematically search for issues that may become problems in the future. Sometimes even small problems often become much bigger in scope, and thus very difficult to solve, but not impossible. Remember that making a decision is not the end of the problem-solving process.

Big Six Skills to Problem Solving

Problem Solving Process Info-Graph We all have choices and options, but bad decisions can waste a lot of time, and we only have so much time. You don't want to miss out on opportunities because you were not realistic in your planning. It's good to be organized, but you also have to be efficient and effective and have a good understanding of your goals and a good understanding of your responsibilities. As a human you have a finite amount of time, use it well. And remember that all those little moments of wasted time add up in the end. You could lose days and even years of missed potential. If you don't solve the Root of the Problem, then you will still have a problem.

Problem Transference

We must have immediate solutions when solving problems and long-term solutions when solving problems. We must also learn how to solve problems before they present themselves, especially problems that are critical to our survival. Foresight Having ideas on possible solutions to problems that you can anticipate will save you time and energy. One of the first problem solving skills we need to have is Learning how to Prioritize. This will be one of the first things that you need to solve. Prioritizing has to be done everyday and sometimes several times a day, so defining your priorities is essential. Other wise you will waste precious time doing things at Random with no real purpose. This is when mistakes can be made that could have serious consequences.


Once you define your priorities you have to balance your priorities in the most logical order that will maximize your time and available resources. Knowing what needs to be done first and knowing what needs to be done next is crucial. You also have to be prepared and ready to solve new problems that may possibly change your priorities. So knowing how to approach problems is critical. What can you teach and what could be learned about this problem must be considered when approaching and evaluating problems. You must also learn to Recognize Variables to certain problems (low priority problem, high priority problem, new problem, old problem, risks, threats and options). Two key elements to problem solving and prioritizing are having Self-Discipline and the Ability to Focus. So if you have not yet learned to focus or if you lack self-discipline then these two skills will be two of your top priorities. Prioritizing could take just several seconds or several minutes to accomplish (immediate solutions). But sometimes prioritizing could take several hours or several days to accomplish (long-term solutions). So knowing how much time you have is critical.

This makes Time Management the next important problem solving skill to learn.
Goals and a timeframe of when they should be accomplished have to be determined.

I try to plan ahead as best as I can, and I usually don't cross bridges until I get to them. But in order for me to focus on my goals, I know it's impossible to plan for everything. So I try not to waste too much time preparing for things that may never happen. But I also don't want to ignore the possibility that things can happen. Believing that I will be able to overcome what ever challenges that come my way, is fine. As long as I except the fact that mistakes can be easily made when you are over confident. I plan as best as I can. And when I learn how to plan better, I do.

"Don't cross a bridge till you come to it" is a metaphor for waiting until a vague or low-probability problem arises so you can learn more about what the problem is, before trying to solve or overcome it.
The following sentences paraphrase various aspects of the proverb:
"Wait for ill-defined problems to be clarified before dealing with them."
"Don't be concerned about distant-future problems until they become near-present problems."
"Don't try to solve that problem until you are prepared to deal with it."
"Don't waste your time preparing for all potential problems, because most of them will no longer be problems when you get to them, or because conditions will have changed by then."
"Don't work on that problem until the scheduled time."

Problem Solving Skills also need to expand, improve and evolve as more information and knowledge is gained at each grade level and at each level of comprehension so that it can cover the many different aspects, different Complexities and specialized areas of unique problems.

Consequentialism the consequences of one's conduct are the ultimate basis for any judgment about the rightness or wrongness of that conduct. Thus, from a consequentialist standpoint, a morally right act (or omission from acting) is one that will produce a good outcome, or consequence. In an extreme form, the idea of consequentialism is commonly encapsulated in the English saying, "the end justifies the means", meaning that if a goal is morally important enough, any method of achieving it is acceptable. But not Always

Questioning - Skepticism

You first have to be aware of the mistake or problem before you can correct it. Premise

Just knowing about Cause and Effect is not enough. You also have to fully understand the Consequences and the Results of actions. You have to see the Positive Results and the Negative Results in a Side-by-Side Comparison so that you can easily confirm good from bad and right from wrong (Pros & Cons). Positive and negatives results would be based on Facts and Evidence that can be Confirmed and Repeated in Testing so that the highest degree of accuracy can be achieved. Personal Opinions cannot be used in Analyzing Data because Facts and Evidence have a much higher percentage of accuracy then just Guessing.  

Creative Problem Solving Process Diagram Reasoning

Decision Making
Logical Reasoning

Reaction (physics)
Cause and Effect

Scholarly Method is the body of principles and practices used by scholars to make their claims about the world as valid and trustworthy as possible, and to make them known to the scholarly public.

Morphological Analysis is a method developed by Fritz Zwicky (1967, 1969) for exploring all the possible solutions to a multi-dimensional, non-quantified complex problem.

You don't have to be a MacGyver to be good at Problem Solving.

Survival Info

"Even a Small Leak will Sink a Great Ship."

You want kids to struggle a little bit to figure things out, as long as you have kids figure things out that benefit them. This way they learn how problem solving is extremely important and extremely valuable. Figuring things out that don't benefit you will not inspire you to learn.

"Good reasoning skills are extremely important to have, but if you are not reasoning the things that matter, then knowing how to reason wont matter."

"There are some problems that you can run away from, but there are problems that will follow you no matter where you go. So learning how to solve problems is an incredibly useful tool and skill to have."

Sometimes a Solution to a Problem Creates other Problems
That's not problem solving, that's problem transference.

Some people tend to solve their problems by making other people suffer. If someone steals from you, you shouldn't steal from someone else to make up for your loss. All humans are good at solving problems, but it's the way that some people solve their problems that ends up being the most important part of the problem solving process. If solving your problem causes other people to have problems, then that's not problem solving, that's Buck Passing, that's Scapegoating, that's Blame shifting, and that's Externalization. These are the crimes of corporations, politicians, and even some citizens. Why are you forcing other people to pay for your comforts? Why are you stealing from future generations by exploiting resources and leaving poison water and land as a result. You have to know that some of your actions are indirectly murdering people now, and murdering people in the future. If you don't understand this, then you need to remove your head from your ass and start learning, and stop killing. 

Somebody Else's Problem is a psychological effect where people choose to dissociate themselves from an issue that may be in critical need of recognition. Such issues may be of large concern to the population as a whole but can easily be a choice of ignorance by an individual. Passivity
Transference is a phenomenon characterized by unconscious redirection of feelings from one person to another.
Diffusion of Responsibility is when a person is less likely to take responsibility for action or inaction when others are present. Considered a form of attribution, the individual assumes that others either are responsible for taking action or have already done so. The phenomenon tends to occur in groups of people above a certain critical size and when responsibility is not explicitly assigned. It rarely occurs when the person is alone and diffusion increases with groups of three or more.
Collateral Damage unintentional or incidental damage, deaths, injuries inflicted on an unintended target.
True Cost of Actions (externalizing)
Externality is the cost or benefit that affects a party who did not choose to incur that cost or benefit.
Solution Caused Problems


Progress Trap is the condition human societies experience when, in pursuing progress through human ingenuity, they inadvertently introduce problems they do not have the resources or political will to solve, for fear of short-term losses in status, stability or quality of life. This prevents further progress and sometimes leads to collapse.

Social Trap is a situation in which a group of people act to obtain short-term individual gains, which in the long run leads to a loss for the group as a whole. Unsustainable Examples of social traps include overfishing, energy "brownout" and "blackout" power outages during periods of extreme temperatures, the overgrazing of cattle on the Sahelian Desert, and the destruction of the rainforest by logging interests and agriculture.

If people are smart enough to know how to steal, then they are smart enough to find better ways of doing things that require no stealing at all. Options and choices are there, but you need to learn what they are. 

Don't make problems worse
Punishing a person, because of a problem, is illogical. If you want to help someone solve a problem, then help them, you can't help people solve their problems when you're adding to their problems. It's just common sense, helping someone is a lot better then hurting someone

"You don't make things better by making things worse."

Positive Feed Back Loop

"Replacing worn-out systems with more of the same outdated processes, is wasteful and negligent."

"What you're doing for work should be solving problems, and not adding to our problems or ignoring our problems. So why would you add to our problems when we can be solving our problems?"  Instead of making problems, you should be solving problems.

Things Change
Sometimes the first solution to a problem does not always solve the problem, or solve the problem completely. Problem solving takes more then one try. And the solution itself can also can be improved and modified. So the first solution is seldom the last solution you will have. Problem solving also needs periodic maintenance, because things change. Problem solving is an ongoing process. Don't ever think that something is totally fixed. Just because you solved a problem today doesn't mean that that same problem will be solved tomorrow, because things change. That is one of the main reasons why problem solving skills are extremely important. Things change. Questions

Ad Hoc generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, non-generalizable, and not intended to be able to be adapted to other purposes.

Counterproductive is tending to hinder the achievement of a goal. Behavior that goes against the goals of an organization or community. Anything that is more of an "obstacle" than a help in the achieving of a productive project or an objective. A situation that prevents a group, organization, or other collective entities from performing or accomplishing its originally stated function.  Productive

"When you see a problem, solve it, Don't run away from a problem and pretend that it will go away on its own, because you could create more problems."

"Being able to solve every problem in the world does mean that you wont see every problem coming that will harm you or kill you. But if you do see the problem coming, and you learn how to defend yourself from this problem, and stop this problem from recurring, then you can solve every problem, or at least make others aware of this problem so they may have a chance to solve it."

"If you ever need a helping hand, sometimes you have to use the hand that's at the end of your arm, because some of life's greatest tests we have to face alone."

"You might see the problem, but you might not see all the other problems that are related to that problem. Problems are like weeds, if you don't get to the root of the problem, then the problem will keep coming back. And if everyone is spreading the seeds of these problems, then those problems will never go away."

“if it ain't broke, don't fix it.” but that stupid saying does not say to improve something before it does break.

Information Literacy

Chess is like Life, but Life is not a Chess Game

Chess will not prepare you for life, but Chess and Life do have some Similarities. You start out with a fixed number of choices
but with each choice you make, you will either have more choices or less choices, which depends on the outcome of the previous choice. So depending on how your opponent moves, or how the environment reacts, will determine your choices. So there are good moves and bad moves, and one wrong move could have devastating consequences, just like in life. You can plan for the future, but the future may not be there, because of how your opponent reacts or how the world changes. So you must be prepared for changes in life and learn how to adapt to these new changes, so that you can make the appropriate moves or choices and be ready to make new plans. In life, and in the game of chess, you may have to take some risks, but they must be calculated risks, but even then, you must be prepared for the mistakes and the effects that are the result of your actions. As the game progresses, as life progresses, with every move or choice you make, this means that you have one less choice, and eventually you will have fewer and fewer choices, but the game is not over. Ending in a draw is when life and humans have agreed that this game cannot be won by either player. You may have a billion options, but each move is as important as the last. Just being good at chess will not make you good at life, but chess could make you a better problem solver. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices, and sometimes you have to give up things in order to gain things. But this does not mean that you are less effective or more in danger. It's just that your options have changed. Chess is also a horrible reminder of how cruel people, society and governments can be. Forcing people to always have to be on the defensive, and forcing them to react to life, instead of living life. This gives people very little chance to make progress, unless people can see that their ability to defend themselves will eventually end in a draw, which will prove that even if people get themselves into a mess of trouble, they still have options, so don't give up, because if you do give up, then you will eventually have no options, and you will eventually lose, as many civilizations have done in the past. So chess is like life, but life is not a chess game. What makes a good chess player? Someone who can see the farthest into the future and calculate what events could happen, and then apply a particular action, or chess move, based on that information and knowledge, while at the same time, correctly adapt to changes as they happen, and have the ability to recalculate what events could happen based on those changes. So can Chess be used as a learning tool for problem solving? Of course it can. The more you can see into the future, the better your odds will be in making a good decision, and on top of that, it also makes you more aware that things could change at anytime, so you have to be ready to change the path that you're on. And chess is not the only game that can teach you problem solving.

Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis
World Chess Hall of Fame

"The one who can see the farthest into the future and make the necessary adjustments when things change, will always win."

In order to be a really good chess player you need to see several moves ahead, which is one of the key factors when solving problems. You need to see into the future goal, you need to see all the steps involved, you need to see the possible obstacles that you may have, you need to know your options if things change. But just because you're good at chess does not mean that you're good at solving problems. You need to learn problem solving.

"If a computer can play chess, then a computer can use chess pieces as symbols to represent all kinds of different information."

People make the mistake sometimes of zooming in to much on problems that they can't see the whole picture. They seem to focus to much on unique details. When you're zoomed in to far all you can see is a small part of a much larger issue. You need to zoom out and backup far enough to see the whole picture from the beginning and be able to see all the way to a possible outcome. Being able to see a single pixel can be useful sometimes, but just seeing things close is like putting on blinders, which makes it impossible to understand what you're really looking at. So you need to zoom out to see all the pixels that create a picture. This way you can begin to understand what you're truly looking at. You have to see all the levels, all the time frames, and all the different angles. As you zoom out more you will notice that the more you see the more your questions will change at each level of focus. So if you never zoom out enough you will never know if you're asking all the right questions.

Spatial intelligence

"Remember, just solving one problem does not solve all your problems. You have to see the whole picture in order to understand it correctly and collectively, meaning, people acting together as well as seeing the world as a collective, a whole, but made up of different elements."

"Don't worry, we'll figure it out, we can figure out almost anything."

When solving problems sometimes you have to stop, step back and take some time to think. Think about the problem and study it carefully. Think about all the different ways that you can go about solving this problem. You don't want to bang your head against the wall and try to solve problems to quickly because you may end up wasting time, or make it worse, or not totally fix the problem, because quick fixes never last. Plus, when you're feeling stressed or when you're struggling to solve a problem, your thinking becomes less clear and you become less focused. So walk around or lay down, you will be amazed on how much you can learn when you're calmly and creatively thinking.

Did you know that you can learn things and use that knowledge to solve problems. Humans have been doing this since the beginning. But not many people truly understand what learning is in order to effectively use learning to increase their potential. If every school and university in the world taught students how to learn, and what to learn, then every problem in the world would be solved.

Every problem can be solved, but that's easier said then done. There are several skills and many things that you have to learn in order to be a good problem solver. There are skills and knowledge that make you good at asking the right questions at the right time. So just knowing that every problem can be solved is not going to benefit you. You have to learn how to solve problems. I can say that the internet is the greatest tool in the world, but if you don't know how to use the Internet effectively then the internet is not the greatest tool in the world. So that is a problem in itself, but this is a problem that we can solve.

Just knowing that there are answers to every question that you have is not going to help you. You have to know what questions to ask and when to ask those questions. And that is a skill you need to learn. So here we go...

The Thinker Man