- Kate Middleton
- Corey Perry
- Winter Forecast
- Local Change location
- Global National
- The Morning Show
- Video Centre
- Email alerts
- Breaking News Alerts from Global News
- License Content
- New Brunswick
Your local region.
- All event types
Add Global News to Home Screen Close
- Press the share icon on your browser
- Select Add to Home Screen
Sponsored content from outbrain.
News tagged with problem-solving
- Date 6 hours 12 hours 1 day 3 days all
- Rank Last day 1 week 1 month all
- LiveRank Last day 1 week 1 month all
- Popular Last day 1 week 1 month all
Critical mathematical thinking skills create more engaged citizens, says expert
Improving children's understanding of math helps them develop more balanced decision-making, says a UNSW expert in mathematics education. Using math critically allows us to consider complex personal and socio-political issues, ...
Nov 2, 2023
Vocal learning in starlings linked to problem solving skills and brain size
The European starling boasts a remarkable repertoire. Versatile songbirds that learn warbles, whistles, calls, and songs throughout their lives, starlings rank among the most advanced avian vocal learners. Now a new study ...
Plants & Animals
Sep 14, 2023
How miscommunication can be constructive during problem-solving in diverse groups
Failing to clearly communicate when problem solving can actually benefit groups that lack diversity, and the degree to which miscommunication helps or hinders the search for a solution is strongly based on factors such as ...
Mar 27, 2023
Ending discrimination of disabled workers key to improving screen industry diversity, future success: report
Disabled people working in Australia's screen industry face prejudice and systemic discrimination, including lower pay, greater casualization and stigma and stereotyping, a new report finds.
Feb 16, 2023
The mind behind the Rubik's Cube celebrates a lasting puzzle
If you've ever had trouble solving a Rubik's Cube, a good piece of advice is to break it down into steps. It's worth a shot: That advice is from the man who invented it.
Dec 1, 2022
How to brainstorm brilliant ideas in teams without sliding into 'groupthink'
Creativity is among the most in-demand skills in the workplace.
May 13, 2022
Problem solving should activate, motivate and provide training
There is a lot of research about mathematics learning and students, but less about mathematics teaching and teachers.
May 12, 2022
Four lessons from online learning that should stick after the pandemic
One of the many changes COVID-19 brought those in education was an almost immediate switch to online learning.
May 2, 2022
Emails and texts in lieu of conversation could negatively affect performance on higher-level job tasks
Is your day a nonstop cycle of email, instant messaging and other text-based communication? New research from FIU Business shows that if you're looking to stay sharp throughout the day, you might want to take your fingers ...
Apr 5, 2022
Q & A: Women need to be leaders in internet governance
Learning how to code changed Baratang Miya's life.
Feb 24, 2022
Association of executive function with suicidality based on resting-state functional connectivity in young adults with subthreshold depression
- Je-Yeon Yun
- Soo-Hee Choi
- Joon Hwan Jang
Spatially embedded recurrent neural networks reveal widespread links between structural and functional neuroscience findings
A fundamental question in neuroscience is what are the constraints that shape the structural and functional organization of the brain. By bringing biological cost constraints into the optimization process of artificial neural networks, Achterberg, Akarca and colleagues uncover the joint principle underlying a large set of neuroscientific findings.
- Jascha Achterberg
- Danyal Akarca
- Duncan E. Astle
Reverse effect of home-use binaural beats brain stimulation
- Michal Klichowski
- Andrzej Wicher
- Roman Golebiewski
Effect of situation similarity on younger and older adults’ episodic simulation of helping behaviours
- A. Dawn Ryan
- Ronald Smitko
- Karen L. Campbell
Computational complexity drives sustained deliberation
The authors develop a reward optimization framework to study sustained deliberation in nonhuman primates. As the computational complexity increased, animals deliberated longer and applied more complex reasoning strategies to optimize rewards.
- William R. Stauffer
Seeing inferences: brain dynamics and oculomotor signatures of non-verbal deduction
- Ana Martín-Salguero
- Carlo Reverberi
- Luca L. Bonatti
News and Comment
Reliable social switch.
The macaque homologue of the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex tracks the reliability of social information and determines whether this information is used to guide choices during decision making.
- Jake Rogers
DishBrain plays Pong and promises more
An in vitro biological system of cultured brain cells has learned to play Pong. This feat opens up an avenue towards the convergence of biological and machine intelligence.
- Joshua Goldwag
Tinkering with tools leads to more success
- Teresa Schubert
Parallel processing of alternative approaches
Neuronal activity in the secondary motor cortex of mice engaged in a foraging task simultaneously represents multiple alternative decision-making strategies.
- Katherine Whalley
Teaching of 21st century skills needs to be informed by psychological research
The technological advancements and globalization of the 21st century require a broad set of skills beyond traditional subjects such as mathematics, reading, and science. Research in psychological science should inform best practice and evidence-based recommendations for teaching these skills.
- Samuel Greiff
- Francesca Borgonovi
Simulated brain solves problems
- Explore articles by subject
- Guide to authors
- Editorial policies
- Starting a Business
- Growing a Business
- Business News
- Science & Technology
- Money & Finance
- Green Entrepreneur
- Subscribers For Subscribers
- Store Entrepreneur Store
- Spotlight Spotlight
- United States
- Asia Pacific
- Middle East
- South Africa
Copyright © 2023 Entrepreneur Media, LLC All rights reserved. Entrepreneur® and its related marks are registered trademarks of Entrepreneur Media LLC
Want more customers use this simple 5-step process to create an irresistible pitch.
It's not hard to get customers to "yes" if you know what they need.
Why Problems Are More Powerful Than Products
Companies spend big budgets on promoting products, but sales come from focusing on what really drives decisions.
The Question Every Business Owner Needs to Ask Themselves (But Doesn't).
Stack resources behind what is going right in your business to unlock new levels of success.
Your Brand Definitely Has a Voice. But Is It the One You Want?
"What kind of brand voice conveys such a crazy ambitious mission?" Six founders on figuring out what their brand should sound like.
This $12 Billion Startup Nearly Imploded. When the Founders Revealed Their Wild Plan to Save It, Their Team Was Like, 'Whaaat?'
Brex made a corporate credit card that was a runaway success. But when they started making a bunch of other stuff, things went south. So they came up with an ambitious plan to reverse course.
4 Telltale Signs Your Business Has Deep-Rooted Issues That Need Addressed
While you can't always prevent conflict or frustration among your stakeholders, you can do a lot to create a driven, focused environment that breeds respect and success.
Expose ChatGPT Resumes and Uncover Real Talent Using These 5 Effective Strategies
How to cut through the noise of artificial intelligence-infused application submissions for mining real talent.
How ChatGPT and the Six-Hat Method Present a Powerful Framework for Effective Problem-Solving
The unique power that ChatGPT offers empowers the six thinking hats. The six hats, conversely, create a framework for writing detailed prompts that elevates the usefulness of ChatGPT taking prompt engineering to the next level in a structured way.
How to Get Unstuck From Stress and Find Solutions Inside Yourself
Executive coach and author Susan S. Freeman discusses finding a healthy problem-solving mindset in her new book, 'Inner Switch: 7 Timeless Principles to Transform Modern Leadership.'
How do You Turn Employees Into Problem-Solvers? Follow This 3-Step Leadership Formula.
As leaders, we need to solve company problems effectively. We often have the urge to fix everything quickly, but is this system of problem-solving really sustainable?
3 Excellent Problem Statement Examples
A problem statement aims to identify a problem and find a solution. Continue reading for how to write one and examples to base yours on.
Do You Judge People With Personal Brands? Here's Another Way to Think About It.
Maybe you see personal brands as indulgent and self-centered, or a waste of time better spent on other tasks. But consider this.
Facing a Tough Problem? Try These Hacks to Find the Solution You Need
Not every problem has easy answers, and that's okay. Here are four ways you can free yourself from gridlock when you're stuck.
Here's Why You Should Buy More Ads When the Economy Tanks
Marketing budgets are the first to get slashed when the market tightens, but that creates less competition for attention.
'You Need to be a Non-Expert': Why Billionaire Naveen Jain Believes Outsiders Make the Best Entrepreneurs
Naveen Jain founded microbiome testing and supplements company Viome by believing he didn't need expertise to disrupt an industry.
Articles on problem-solving skills
Displaying all articles.
7 everyday ways to foster children’s math and literacy skills to avoid ‘summer slide’ learning loss
Audrey-Ann Deneault , University of Calgary ; Marissa Nivison , University of Calgary , and Sheri Madigan , University of Calgary
Why engineering schools globally need more creative women
Ishwar K. Puri , McMaster University
Why schools should provide one laptop per child
Binbin Zheng , Michigan State University and Mark Warschauer , University of California, Irvine
- Higher education
- Learning loss
- Reading skills
- Summer learning
Professor, Canada Research Chair in Determinants of Child Development, Owerko Centre at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Université de Montréal
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Calgary
Assistant Professor, Michigan State University
Professor of Education and Informatics, University of California, Irvine
Dean of Engineering and Professor, McMaster University
- Unfollow topic Follow topic
clock This article was published more than 2 years ago
Humans solve problems by adding complexity, even when it’s against our best interests
The study’s findings are especially relevant in the realm of public policy, where the simplest solution is often the hardest to spot.
Ready for a quick brain teaser? Take a look at the image above. Your task is to make it perfectly symmetrical from left to right, and from top to bottom. To do so you may change the color of any square from blue to white, or vice versa. The goal is to accomplish this using the fewest color changes possible.
The simplest solution — and the correct one — is to change four squares in the upper-left quadrant from blue to white. But when a team of researchers posed this problem to hundreds of volunteers in a controlled experiment, fully half of them failed to do so.
Instead, they opted to color the remaining three quadrants to match the upper left one. They added complexity to the design instead of taking it away, even though doing so required more work and hurt their performance, according to the problem guidelines.
The researchers say this experiment, and a number of others they published in a recent paper in the journal Nature , reveal something fundamental about the human psyche: We tend to solve problems by adding things together rather than taking things away, even when doing so goes against our best interests.
It’s a tendency that may have especially wide-reaching implications for the realm of public policy.
“The tendency to overlook subtraction may be implicated in a variety of costly modern trends, including overburdened minds and schedules, increasing red tape in institutions and humanity’s encroachment on the safe operating conditions for life on Earth,” the authors write.
The grid problem was one of eight experiments reported in the paper. In another, subjects were asked to stabilize the wobbly roof of a Lego structure by either adding or removing bricks. The easiest solution was to remove a single brick, allowing the roof to lie flat atop the base. But only 40 percent of participants took this route; the others added bricks to create more supports, even when doing so reduced the amount of money they received for completing the task.
When subjects were explicitly told that removing bricks was free and had no effect on their pay, the share opting for the subtractive solution rose to only 60 percent. Similar patterns turned up across a variety of experiments, including edits to a written document, modifications to a mini-golf course, and suggestions for improving a university.
There are a variety of explanations for why we might favor addition over subtraction in problem solving, the authors write. “Numerical concepts of ‘more’ and ‘higher’ may map to evaluative concepts of ‘positive’ and ‘better,'” for instance. In many fields it may be easier to gain recognition for creating something than for taking something away.
This could be especially true in politics. Donald Moynihan, a professor at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy who was not involved in the research, noted via email that “lots of our biggest policies suffer from creeping complexity.”
Moynihan studies administrative burdens — “the frictions that people encounter in their experiences with government,” such as long lines at the DMV or convoluted application forms for federal programs. He says that the additive tendencies identified in the Nature paper may be driving some of that.
“There is a well-established bias toward building on the existing base in public policy,” he said via email. Part of this is simple conflict avoidance: eliminating policies often requires butting heads with the people those policies benefit, which can quickly derail a legislative initiative.
Leidy Klotz, one of the researchers on the project and author of the just-published book “ Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less ,” notes that the Code of Federal Regulations — the record of all rules and regulations by federal governmental agencies — has ballooned from 10,000 pages during the Truman era to more than 180,000 today .
Factoids like this often form the basis of conservative and libertarian arguments about government waste or overreach.
“The buildup of regulations over time leads to duplicative, obsolete, conflicting, and even contradictory rules, and the multiplicity of regulatory constraints complicates and distorts the decision-making processes of firms operating in the economy,” as a 2016 Mercatus Center study put it.
Moynihan, however, takes a slightly different view. “I would like policymakers to relentlessly look at existing processes to see if there are simpler (from the perspective of the public) options to achieve the same goals,” he said. “In some cases, that means, contrary to a libertarian perspective, investing more in government capacity.”
Moynihan points to the Social Security retirement program as an example of “a big and complex program, but one that is designed to feel simple for retirees.”
The authors of the Nature study stress that their findings don’t imply that adding things is always a net loss from a policy perspective. “Our conclusion is that people systematically overlook subtraction; it’s not that subtraction is always better,” Klotz said. “Adding and subtracting are complementary ways to try to improve things. So as applied to the lawmaking realm, we just want to be sure people are considering all of the options.”