Studies conclude people's strategies cohere with their goals and stem from the natural process of comparing oneself with others.
The early experimental work of the Gestaltists in Germany placed the beginning of problem solving study (e.g., Karl Duncker in 1935 with his book The psychology of productive thinking The use of simple, novel tasks was due to the clearly defined optimal solutions and short time for solving, which made it possible for the researchers to trace participants' steps in problem-solving process.
However, already in 1958, John Mc Carthy proposed the advice taker, to represent information in formal logic and to derive answers to questions using automated theorem-proving.
A important step in this direction was made by Cordell Green in 1969, using a resolution theorem prover for question-answering and for such other applications in artificial intelligence as robot planning.
Formal logic is concerned with such issues as validity, truth, inference, argumentation and proof.
In a problem-solving context, it can be used to formally represent a problem as a theorem to be proved, and to represent the knowledge needed to solve the problem as the premises to be used in a proof that the problem has a solution.Rehabilitation psychologists studying individuals with frontal lobe injuries have found that deficits in emotional control and reasoning can be remediated with effective rehabilitation and could improve the capacity of injured persons to resolve everyday problems.Interpersonal everyday problem solving is dependent upon the individual personal motivational and contextual components.Problem solving consists of using generic or ad hoc methods in an orderly manner to find solutions to problems.Some of the problem-solving techniques developed and used in philosophy, artificial intelligence, computer science, engineering, mathematics, or medicine are related to mental problem-solving techniques studied in psychology.Mental health professionals study the human problem solving processes using methods such as introspection, behaviorism, simulation, computer modeling, and experiment.Social psychologists look into the person-environment relationship aspect of the problem and independent and interdependent problem-solving methods.It can also be applied to a product or process prior to an actual failure event—when a potential problem can be predicted and analyzed, and mitigation applied so the problem never occurs.Techniques such as failure mode and effects analysis can be used to proactively reduce the likelihood of problems occurring.Finally a solution is selected to be implemented and verified.Problems have a goal to be reached and how you get there depends upon problem orientation (problem-solving coping style and skills) and systematic analysis.