Problem Solving Techniques in Cognitive Science

Joan Condell, John Wade, Leo Galway, Michael McBride, Padhraig Gormley, Joseph Brennan, Thiyagesan Somasundram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


For many years, researchers have tried to discover how humans solve problems. This research has answered many questions, but still many of them remain unanswered. However, knowledge gained in this field has greatly enhanced our understanding and has enabled us to design human-like intelligent systems. In the 1920’s the Gestalt psychologists introduced a new field to cognitive science. They discovered that when presented with certain problems we use insight to reach a solution. In the 1950’s Newell & Simon then brought the field of problem solving into the information age. They experimented with the idea of problem solving as a search for a solution in a state space. This technique is today utilized in the field of computing and Artificial Intelligence. This paper reviews techniques and looks at how we use previous experience gained by solving problems to solve new similar problems, making analogies between them. Experts’ performance during problem solving is compared to that of novices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-234
JournalArtificial Intelligence Review - An International Science and Engineering Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Sept 2010


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