Reflections on Education

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Einstellung Effect I - Situation

Situation – identify relevant issues or problems.

If Einstellung is a German word that means an attitude to, the Einstellung Effect  is defined as the predisposition to solve an issue applying a strategy you already have in mind that has previously worked, but may not let you find out more appropriate methods of solving the current problem. This might happen because you believe you already know the best solution, even though you have not evaluated new tactics. Then, you get stuck in a particular approach.

Let's see an example: You have a 3 gallon and a 5-gallon jug that you can fill from a fountain of water. But the problem is how to get 4 gallons using the 3 gallons and the 5-gallon jug.

The trick is to realize that:

5-3 =2
5 - (3-2) = 4

That is:
Action                                 Amount After Action
                                             3 gallon jug               5 gallon jug

Fill 5 gallon jug                         0                               5

Fill up 3 gallon jug with
water from 5 gallon jug             3                              2

Pour out 3 gallon jug                 0                              2

Transfer water from 5 gallon
jug to 3 gallon jug                        2                              0

Fill up 5 gallon jug                       2                              5

Transfer water from 5 gallon
jug to 3 gallon jug                           3                           4

That's not the only way to do that. What's yours?

1 comment:

  1. Fill the 3 gallon jug. Poor 3 into the 5. Refill 3. Poor 2 gallons into, leaving 1. Dump 5 gallon. Poor the 1 remaining gallon from the 3 into the 5. Fill the 3 gallon jug. Poor into 5. = 4