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Stop judging what you can't comprehend.

Updated: Feb 7, 2021

Many people face the real-world problem of the inability to stop labeling an issue they do not understand when problem-solving. We often rely on functional fixedness to make decisions about people and the interactions we have with them. For example, a person sees a picture next to a comment on social media. They immediately determine the context of the statement based on the image and what they typically associate individuals of the same nature. They read the comment with a different narrative and, therefore, respond based on bias. McBride (2018) says this person is subjected to functional fixedness and focuses on how things are usually used while ignoring other potential uses. There are other possible uses for perceptual bias, such as using the photo to empathize with the individual. However, we are likely to deal with this problem using mental sets. A mental set is a tendency to use the same set of solutions to solve similar problems (McBride, 2018).

Furthermore, one problem-solving strategy that would positively solve this issue is the use of analogical transfer. On the surface, it may look like opposing views. However, under the surface, the problems we have are the same (McBride,2018). For example, A democrat may picture a countryman with Trump 2020 as his profile picture banner. He may resolve to the solution that this person is some negative connotation that leads to his political affiliations. The underlying issue is the countryman is a human being with rights and beliefs that should not label him. He should be afforded the same desired respect as the democrat. Using analogical transfer, we can solve problems by empathizing with one another and looking for similarities instead of superficial differences. This is how I believe problem-solving strategies can solve lifestyle problems in the real world.


McBride, D. M., Cutting, J. C. (2018). Interactive: Cognitive Psychology, Interactive eBook, 2nd Edition. [[VitalSource Bookshelf version]]. Retrieved from vbk://9781544324845

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