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The key word in the above definition is "appropriate." If your problem solving process doesn't fit the problem at hand, you can execute the process to the highest quality possible and still not solve the problem.
(page xi) If we are to solve problems, from those confined to a single individual to those affecting whole nations, we must learn how to identify and break out of restrictive mindsets and give full, serious consideration to alternative solutions.
We must learn how to deal with the compulsions of the human mind that, by defeating objective analysis, close the mind to alternatives.
On the issue essay you’re not writing literary criticism or rhetorical analysis, but rather something more akin to a very direct, concise email to a very busy boss or professor.
Get used to the idea that the issue essay isn’t about how well you make things flow or how pretty it sounds; it’s about how clearly you can get information across.
We aren't interested in the process and don't really understand it.
Most people are functionally illiterate when it comes to structuring their problems.
Not surprisingly, the solution we intuitively favor is, more often than not, the first one that seems satisfactory.
Economists call this phenomenon satisficing (a merging of satisfy and suffice).
the mind generally remains closed to alternatives, favoring instead the first satisfactory decision or solution.
Consequently, the outcome is frequently flawed or at least less effective than would be the case with the structured approach.