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Cognitive Domains: Problem Solving

You’ve finally arrived at your hotel on a long-awaited vacation and are ready to explore an exotic destination. But now that you’re out doing some sightseeing, you realize that you’re having some issues with understanding the local language. This is when you need to use the cognitive domain of problem solving.


How Problem Solving is Defined

The cognitive domain of problem solving is defined as follows by the APA Dictionary of Psychology:


“the process by which individuals attempt to overcome difficulties, achieve plans that move them from a starting situation to a desired goal, or reach conclusions through the use of higher mental functions, such as reasoning and creative thinking. Problem solving is seen in nonhuman animals in laboratory studies involving mazes and other tests as well as in natural settings to obtain hidden foods. Many animals display problem-solving strategies, such as the win–stay, lose–shift strategy, which allows an animal to solve a new problem quickly based on whether the first response was successful or unsuccessful. In terms of conditioning, problem solving involves engaging in behavior that results in the production of discriminative stimuli in situations involving new contingencies.”


Problem solving is part of a larger group called executive functions. You can read about executive functions here. .


How to Improve Your Problem Solving


With Cognishape, we’ve designed specific tasks that can help you to improve your problem solving ability.  Here’s an example of one of these tasks:

““Think of a problem you or someone else has. Try to simplify it. Spend time on trying to understand and define the problem. Can you simplify it down to 10 words?"


This is an example from a task that works on your verbal fluency and problem solving.

Want to Know about other Cognitive Domains?

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Cognishape started when two entrepreneurs joined forces with an expert clinical psychologist. Her career centered on identifying cognitive abilities that decline with age and finding easy, low-cost interventions to help. 


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