Man's physical universe

xanabras

PROBLEM-SOLVING ABILITY IN A DEMOCRACY 7

Unsolved Problems Lead to Frustration.

Almost everything we do is done about a problem. We eat and sleep

to satisfy needs, but improper food or sleep may fail to meet these needs

satisfactorily; and disease, pain, unhappiness, even suicide, result. We

go to school to satisfy basic needs, and yet school does more harm than

good to many people. We marry to satisfy human needs, but a large

number of people find that their marriages have been failures. We

buy many products to satisfy needs and then discover that they were

misrepresented or that we did not need them after all.

We are solving problems every day ; but because we have not learned

techniques of solving problems, our solutions to these

the scientific

problems are often very unsatisfactory.

Just as students do not always

obtain the correct answers in solving arithmetic problems, so everyone

gets the wrong answers to some problems. Wrong answers lead to

failure.

Right answers lead to success.

Problem-solving Ability Is a Measure of One's Intelligence.

Adaptation is conformity to a need. The ability to quickly adapt

one's self to a changed situation requires problem-solving ability.

There are many different kinds of problems, and, therefore, there are

many different types of problem-solving ability. Some people can

solve mechanical problems best, while other people can solve social

problems best. Regardless of whether one is an automobile mechanic

or a physician, he needs to be intelligent. The intelligent person selects

problems which he knows how to solve. The technique of solving

problems scientifically can be learned by everyone. That technique is

discussed in Section 3 of this Unit.

Please note that the two most important

objectives of this text are: first, to help you to learn how to solve

problems, and second, to help you to discover the types of problems which

you are best able to solve.

Mental Growth Results from the Solution of Problems.

Problem-solving does not have much influence upon subsequent

behavior unless one's experience fits into an existing pattern in such a

way as to make the next step toward the goal more definite. Goals

constitute one of the best integrating factors available to give meaning

to experience.

Isolated knowledge is equivalent to meaningless experience. Matter

which has a definite plan of organization or logical sequence is learned

most rapidly.

Mental growth results from one's own act of integrating and organizing

knowledge. This text has been designed to help you to develop a

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