Characteristics of Expert Problem Solvers
1. Attitude Characteristics
- Optimistic: you believe "I can do it"
- Confident: the problem really does have a reasonable, but perhaps difficult, solution
- Willing to persevere: you aim for a complete and well reasoned solution, not an immediate or superficial one
- Concern for accuracy in reading: you concentrate, re-read and paraphrase to increase understanding, and translate unfamiliar words or terms
- Concern for accuracy in thinking: you work at a moderate to slow pace initially, perform operations carefully, check answers periodically, and draw conclusions at the end not part way through.
2. Skill Characteristics
- Systematic approach: you have a plan to follow, which
- reduces the panic
- allows you to monitor your thought processes
- helps isolate errors in logic or computation
- Sound knowledge of basic concepts, which you mentally organize so you can recall and apply them
- Computational skill, at a good speed
- Habit of vocalizing or "thinking aloud": you talk yourself through all thoughts
- how to start the problem
- steps to break problems into parts
- Awareness of your own thought processes: What did I do or learn? How did I do or learn this? How effective was my process?