Saturday, March 8, 2014

Einstellung effect

"Einstellung is the development of a mechanized state of mind. Often called a problem solving set, Einstellung refers to a person's predisposition to solve a given problem in a specific manner even though "better" or more appropriate methods of solving the problem exist. The Einstellung effect is the negative effect of previous experience when solving new problems. 
The Einstellung effect occurs when a person is presented with a problem or situation that is similar to problems they have worked through in the past. If the solution (or appropriate behavior) to the problem/situation has been the same in each past experience, the person will likely provide that same response, without giving the problem too much thought, even though a more appropriate response might be available. Essentially, the Einstellung effect is one of the human brain's ways of finding an appropriate solution/behavior as efficiently as possible. Note, however, that although finding the solution is efficient, the solution found might not necessarily be the most appropriate solution. 
Luchins and Luchins looked at the relationship between the intelligence quotient (IQ) and the Einstellung effects for the children in their original experiment. They found that there was a statistically insignificant negative relationship between the Einstellung Effect and Intelligence. In general, large Einstellung effects were observed for all subject groups regardless of IQ score. When Luchins and Luchins looked at the IQ range for children who did and did not demonstrate Einstellung effects, they spanned from 51 to 160 and from 75 to 155 respectively. These ranges show a slight negative correlation between intelligence and Einstellung effects.
 Sounds familiar? How many times I have fallen in this trap, who knows?

I wonder if human mind can be trained to overcome negative effects of Einstellung effect.

Resource: Wikipedia - Einstellung Effect

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