Three steps in problem solving  What are the three steps involved in problem solving? Make up a hypothetical problem and solve it using the three steps. This is based on Pychology Class,...

Three steps in problem solving

 

What are the three steps involved in problem solving? Make up a hypothetical problem and solve it using the three steps. This is based on Pychology Class, "Understanding Psychology."

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marbar57 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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When faced with any problem there are three questions that need to be asked:

1)  What is the problem?

2)  What caused it or why did it happen?

3)  What can be done to solve it?

Let's suppose my tomato plants start dying for no apparant reason.  The vines look normal and green one morning, but within 24 hours are wilted, shriveled, and dying.  My first response is I that they aren't being watered enough and I give them a good drink of water.  That doesn't do anything.  Maybe they aren't getting enough minerals.  A good dose of plant food should fix them.  But it doesn't.  Apparently the problem is less obvious.

In a last-ditch effort to save my plants, I call in an expert.  She takes a soil sample, pulls up one of my plants, and heads off to her field office to do some research. In a couple of hours she calls me to tell me her verdict.  There are tiny, microscopic organism called nematodes in the soil that have eaten away at the roots of the plants, causing the plants to starve and die.  She prescribes an organic, powder-based soil treatment that you mix in water and pour on the plants to get rid of the little guys.  Off to the store I go, and in no time my plants have been doctored.  Within 24 hours, most of my tomato plants have recovered.  A few are beyond help, however, and I have to pull them up and throw them away.

This is a hypothetical problem, but it demonstrates how I pinpointed the problem:  tomato plants are dying; it demonstrates what and why they were dying:  nematodes in the soil; it demonstrates how I fixed the problem:  pour on a solution that killed the nematodes and saved the plants. 

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