Psych M.D. - Functional Fixedness


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Term: Functional Fixedness
Definition (Myers): The tendency to think of things only in terms of their usual functions; an impediment to problem solving [1]
Definition (alternative): a cognitive bias that limits a person to using an object only in the way it is traditionally used. [2]
Contextual explanation: People tend to use objects in ways they are normally used. For example, since a pen is a writing utensil, it is used to write, not to eat something.
Related terms and concepts:
  • Confirmation bias
  • Fixation
  • Mental Set
  • Insight
Functional Fixedness Example [3]
Related websites:
Sources:
  1. Myers, D.G. (2003). Psychology. New York City: Worth Publishers.
  2. Functional fixedness. Retrieved September 24, 2009, from Wikipedia Web site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functional_fixedness
  3. Functional Fixedness. Retrieved September 24, 2009, from AbsoluteAstronomy.com Web site: http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Functional_fixedness
Edited by: Susan K
Date of last edit: 9/24/2009



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