functional fixedness

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pages: 728 words: 182,850

Cooking for Geeks by Jeff Potter

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3D printing, A Pattern Language, carbon footprint, centre right, Community Supported Agriculture, Computer Numeric Control, crowdsourcing, Donald Knuth, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, fear of failure, food miles, functional fixedness, hacker house, haute cuisine, helicopter parent, Internet Archive, iterative process, Parkinson's law, placebo effect, random walk, Rubik’s Cube, slashdot, stochastic process, the scientific method

., Sugar guar gum, E Numbers: The Dewey Decimal System of Food Additives gustatory sense (see ) Gustavson, Carl, Others H HAACP, How to Prevent Foodborne Illness Caused by Bacteria hacker thinking defined, Think Like a Hacker Duncker’s Candle Problem, Functional Fixedness functional fixedness and, Functional Fixedness, Tips for Newbies in kitchen, Think Like a Hacker learning how to cook and, Tips for Newbies mental restructuring, Functional Fixedness hands as kitchen tool, Unitaskers as thermometers, Thermometers and timers hazelnuts, Taste (Gustatory Sense) healthy (cooking style), Functional Fixedness, Know your type heat gradient, Heat Transfer and Doneness heat shields, Convection heat transfer carryover and, Temperature gradients combinations of methods, Radiation conduction, Methods of Heat Transfer convection, Methods of Heat Transfer, Combinations of heat cooking methods plotted by, Combinations of heat doneness and, Heat Transfer and Doneness experimenting with sources, Combinations of heat methods of, Methods of Heat Transfer oil and water, Convection radiation, Methods of Heat Transfer, Convection sous vide cooking and, Sous Vide Cooking temperature gradients, Heat Transfer and Doneness time/temperature rule of thumb, Heat Transfer and Doneness Hell’s Kitchen (TV show), Don’t be afraid to burn dinner!

self-test, Know your type cook-chill cooking, Foodborne Illness and Sous Vide Cooking cook-hold cooking, Foodborne Illness and Sous Vide Cooking cookies caramelization and, 356°F / 180°C: Sugar Begins to Caramelize Visibly Chocolate Chip Cookies, Baking Soda Gingerbread Cookies, Baking Soda Meringue Cookies, Meringues Spice Cookies, Reading Between the Lines cooking foods defined, Time and Temperature: Cooking’s Primary Variables for one person, Cooking for One for others, Cooking for One heat shields, Convection history of, Reading Between the Lines learning how to cook, Tips for Newbies, Taste == Feedback, Reading Between the Lines matching food properties with methods, Heat Transfer and Doneness most important variable in, Cooked = Time * Temperature reasons for, Functional Fixedness stages in, Functional Fixedness, Have fun! stirring food while, Reading Between the Lines tasting food during, Tips for Newbies Cooking Issues blog, Commercial Hardware and Techniques, Stock, broth, and consommé cooking styles conflict and, Functional Fixedness self-test, Know your type Wansink on, Functional Fixedness Cooking: A Quintessential Art (This), Sugar Cook’s Illustrated, Prepping Ingredients, Kitchen Pruning copper bowls, Analytical Method, Egg Whites coq au vin, Seasonal Method cornstarch as food additive, Playing with Chemicals making gels, Making gels: Starches corporate overlording, Seasonal Method cosolvency, Smell (Olfactory Sense) covalent bonds, Meat Glue: Transglutaminase Crace, John, Modern Industrial Chemicals The Craftsman (Sennett), 356°F / 180°C: Sugar Begins to Caramelize Visibly cream of tartar, Baking Powder cream whippers, Whipped Cream, Sous Vide Cooking, Cream Whippers (a.k.a.

"iSi Whippers") Almond Flan, Seasonal Method Apple Pie, Making ice cream Beurre Noisette Ice Cream, 356°F / 180°C: Sugar Begins to Caramelize Visibly Black Cherry Compote, Seasonal Method Brownies in an Orange, Sous Vide Cooking Caramel Sauce, 356°F / 180°C: Sugar Begins to Caramelize Visibly Chocolate Almond Bars, Chocolate Chocolate Mousse, Whipped Cream Chocolate Panna Cotta, Making gels: Agar Cocoa-Goldschläger Ice Cream, Making dusts Crepes, Unitaskers French Meringue, Meringues Italian Meringue, Meringues Lemon Meringue Pie, Making gels: Starches Pear Sorbet, Smell (Olfactory Sense) Pie Dough, Gluten Poached Pears in Red Wine, 158°F / 70°C: Vegetable Starches Break Down Quinn’s Crème Brûlée, Blowtorches for crème brûlée Scones, Baking Powder Strawberry or Raspberry Soufflé, Egg Yolks S’mores Ice Cream, Liquid Smoke: Distilled Smoke Vapor Tiramisu, Whipped Cream Zabaglione, Egg Yolks dewar, defined, Dangers of liquid nitrogen Dexter-Russell, Kitchen Equipment, Knives dextrose, Yeast in breads diacetyl, Smell (Olfactory Sense) dietary restrictions, Cooking for One, Cooking Around Allergies differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Chocolate dishwasher, cooking in, Sous Vide Hardware distilling process, Stock, broth, and consommé 2,4-dithiapentane, Smell (Olfactory Sense) divalent cation, Making gels: Sodium alginate DNA fingerprints, How to Prevent Foodborne Illness Caused by Parasites dolce de leche, 356°F / 180°C: Sugar Begins to Caramelize Visibly Domino Sugar, Anti-Sugar: Lactisole doneness heat transfer and, Heat Transfer and Doneness temperatures required for, 104°F / 40°C and 122°F / 50°C: Proteins in Fish and Meat Begin to Denature testing for, Time and Temperature: Cooking’s Primary Variables dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex, Combinations of Tastes and Smells Dravnieks, Andrew, Analytical Method drinks (see ) Drip-Filtered Consommé, Stock, broth, and consommé dry aging meats, 104°F / 40°C and 122°F / 50°C: Proteins in Fish and Meat Begin to Denature dry brining, Traditional Cooking Chemicals, Dry brining dry heat methods, Methods of Heat Transfer dry ice, "cooking" with, Making ice cream DSC (differential scanning calorimetry), Chocolate Duck Confit, 154°F / 68°C: Collagen (Type I) Denatures Duck Confit Sugo, Reading Between the Lines Dufresne, Wylie, Modern Industrial Chemicals Duncker, Karl, Functional Fixedness Duncker’s Candle Problem, Functional Fixedness DuPont, Salty Dwight, John, Playing with Chemicals E E numbers classification, E Numbers: The Dewey Decimal System of Food Additives E. coli, Cutting boards, Foodborne Illness and Staying Safe, How to Prevent Foodborne Illness Caused by Parasites Early French Cookery (Scully), Regional/Traditional Method Eat Tweet (Evans), Reading Between the Lines eating habits changing, Functional Fixedness physiological reasons, A Few Words on Nutrition Edman, Lenore, Making ice cream egg whites about, 144°F / 62°C: Eggs Begin to Set as mechanical leaveners, Mechanical Leaveners beating, Analytical Method, 144°F / 62°C: Eggs Begin to Set copper bowls and, Analytical Method, Egg Whites denaturing, Time and Temperature: Cooking’s Primary Variables Maillard reactions and, 310°F / 154°C: Maillard Reactions Become Noticeable meringues, Meringues salt roasting and, Wet brining egg yolks, Egg Yolks eggs 30-Minute Scrambled Eggs, 144°F / 62°C: Eggs Begin to Set 60-Minute Slow-Cooked Egg, Pasteurized Eggs allergies to, Ingredients to avoid cooking, Cooking for Others, 144°F / 62°C: Eggs Begin to Set, Stock, broth, and consommé cracking, Picking a Recipe Foamed Scrambled Eggs, Cream Whippers (a.k.a.


pages: 262 words: 80,257

The Eureka Factor by John Kounios

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active measures, Albert Einstein, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, Flynn Effect, functional fixedness, Google Hangouts, impulse control, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Necker cube, pattern recognition, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, theory of mind, US Airways Flight 1549, Wall-E, William of Occam

What makes this simple problem so difficult for most people is that, after years of experience thinking about pliers as having one particular function, it’s difficult to think of them as having a different function. This “functional fixedness” is similar to the difficulty of the Nine-Dot Problem: People assume that there are rules, boundaries, or restrictions where there aren’t any. It’s what the firefighters on Wag Dodge’s team experienced when they couldn’t think of fire as anything other than a threat to be eliminated or avoided. Only Dodge was able to overcome functional fixedness and realize that fire was also a tool that would enable him to solve the problem and save his life. In such cases, the trick is to be open to alternative, nonobvious interpretations. This is how he broke out of his box. Functional fixedness imprisons thought just when it needs to be liberated. And, worse, it doesn’t take a lifetime of experience with fire or tools for this to happen.

After you eat, you don’t have to figure out why you aren’t hungry anymore. All these things are expected and are therefore not problems to solve. Furthermore, imagine how taxing it would be to always consider all the possible uses for all the familiar objects with which you interact. Should I use my hammer or my telephone to pound in that nail? Could the oven dry my clothes just as well as that clothes dryer? On a daily basis, functional fixedness is a relief, not a curse. That’s why you shouldn’t even attempt to consider all your options and possibilities. You can’t. If you tried to, then you’d never get anything done. So don’t knock the box. Ironically, although it limits your thinking, it also makes you smart. It helps you to stay one step ahead of reality. But also remember that your box isn’t perfect. It can’t enable you to anticipate everything, because doing so would mean that your brain would have to be as complex as the world around you.

To stabilize the candle, first light a match and heat the wax on the bottom of the candle to soften it so that it will stick to the box (see figure 12.1). Glucksberg used two slightly different versions of this problem. One group of participants saw the thumbtacks presented inside the thumbtack box. For the other group, each box was empty, and the thumbtacks were loose rather than in a container. FIGURE 12.1: The Candle Problem. When the tacks are presented in the box, this induces “functional fixedness”—it’s hard to think of the box as anything other than a container. That’s why, as we’ve seen, solving the problem usually requires an insight to change one’s perspective about what the box is for. Few people solved this version of the problem, and those who did took a relatively long time. However, when the tack box is empty, its container function isn’t prominent, and a change of perspective isn’t necessary to think of it as a platform for the candle.


pages: 204 words: 54,395

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

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affirmative action, call centre, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, deliberate practice, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, functional fixedness, game design, George Akerlof, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, knowledge worker, performance metric, profit maximization, profit motive, Results Only Work Environment, side project, the built environment, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, zero-sum game

Think for a moment about how you'd solve the problem. Many people begin by trying to tack the candle to the wall. But that doesn't work. Some light a match, melt the side of the candle, and try to adhere it to the wall. That doesn't work either. But after five or ten minutes, most people stumble onto the solution, which you can see below. The candle problem solved. The key is to overcome what's called functional fixedness. You look at the box and see only one function as a container for the tacks. But by thinking afresh, you eventually see that the box can have another function as a platform for the candle. To reprise language from the previous chapter, the solution isn't algorithmic (following a set path) but heuristic (breaking from the path to discover a novel strategy). What happens when you give people a conceptual challenge like this and offer them rewards for speedy solutions?

Dan Ariely, Uri Gneezy, George Lowenstein, and Nina Mazar, Large Stakes and Big Mistakes, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Working Paper No. 05-11 , July 23, 2005 (emphasis added). You can also find a very short summary of this and some other research in Dan Ariely, What's the Value of a Big Bonus? New York Times , November 20, 2008. LSE: When Performance-Related Pay Backfires, Financial , June 25, 2009. Sam Glucksberg, The Influence of Strength of Drive on Functional Fixedness and Perceptual Recognition, Journal of Experimental Psychology 63 (1962): 36-41. Glucksberg obtained similar results in his Problem Solving: Response Competition Under the Influence of Drive, Psychological Reports 15 (1964). Teresa M. Amabile, Elise Phillips, and Mary Ann Collins, Person and Environment in Talent Development: The Case of Creativity, in Talent Development: Proceedings from the 1993 Henry B. and Jocelyn Wallace National Research Symposium on Talent Development , edited by Nicholas Colangelo, Susan G.


pages: 231 words: 73,818

The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life by Bernard Roth

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Albert Einstein, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, deskilling, fear of failure, functional fixedness, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, school choice, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, zero-sum game

You are then to use those materials in whatever ways you want to solve the problem; however, there isn’t usually an obvious connection between the items and your problem. For instance, maybe you have to figure out how to create a communication device using a box of Cheerios, a hammer, tape, cotton balls, a hairbrush, and a bag of marbles. Most people have a cognitive bias called functional fixedness that causes them to see objects only in their normal context. The use of the materials and tools in their ordinary way will generally lead to no workable solutions or, at the very most, mundane ones. The really exciting solutions come from overcoming functional fixedness and using these everyday items in new ways. To see the possibilities it is helpful to take the viewpoint that nothing is what you think it is. You need to make the familiar unfamiliar. So, for example, a box of Cheerios is no longer only a breakfast cereal.


pages: 317 words: 97,824

Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, availability heuristic, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, delayed gratification, fear of failure, feminist movement, functional fixedness, Lao Tzu, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Walter Mischel

They take the hot System Watson route—action, action, action—underestimating the crucial need for the exact opposite: a moment of quiet reflection. And so they understandably go at once for the most natural or most obvious solutions. The majority of people in this situation do not see that something obvious—a box of tacks—might actually be something less obvious: a box and tacks. This is known as functional fixedness. We tend to see objects the way they are presented, as serving a specific function that is already assigned. The box and tacks go together as a box of tacks. The box holds the tacks; it does not have another function. To go past that and actually break the object into two component parts, to realize that the box and matches are two different things, takes an imaginative leap (Duncker, coming from the Gestalt school, was studying precisely this question, of our tendency to see the whole over the parts).

Anders, ref1, ref2, ref3 event-related potentials (ERPs), ref1 exceptions, Holmes’ view, ref1 explicit memory, ref1 eyewitness testimony, ref1 fairy photos, ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Falk, Ruma, ref1 Fechner, Gustav Theodor, ref1 Feynman, Richard, ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 filtering, ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 foreign language learning, ref1 Fosbury, Dick, ref1 Frederick, Shane, ref1 frontal cortex, ref1 functional fixedness, ref1 Gardner, Edward, ref1 Gazzaniga, Michael, ref1 Gilbert, Daniel, ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Gillette, William, ref1 Gollwitzer, Peter, ref1 Great Wyrley, Staffordshire, England, ref1, ref2 “The Greek Interpreter,” ref1 Green, C. Shawn, ref1 Griffiths, Frances, ref1, ref2, ref3 habit, ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Haggard, Sir H. Rider, ref1 Haidt, Jonathan, ref1 halo effect, ref1 hard-easy effect, ref1 Havel, Václav, ref1 Heisenberg uncertainty principle, ref1 Hill, Elsie Wright.


pages: 481 words: 125,946

What to Think About Machines That Think: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence by John Brockman

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3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, constrained optimization, corporate personhood, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, dark matter, discrete time, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, endowment effect, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, Flash crash, friendly AI, functional fixedness, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, Internet of things, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, loose coupling, microbiome, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, Satyajit Das, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

And it takes an exceptional mind, just short of genius, even to understand the example. Other limits strike closer to home: diabetics who can’t refuse dessert, alcoholics who can’t refuse a drink, gamblers who can’t refuse a bet. But it’s not just addicts. Behavioral economists find that all of us make “predictably irrational” economic choices. Cognitive psychologists find that we all suffer from “functional fixedness,” an inability to solve certain trivial problems, such as Duncker’s candle problem, because we can’t think out of the box. The good news, however, is that the endless variety of our limits provides job security for psychotherapists. But here’s the key point. The limits of each kind of intelligence are an engine of evolution. Mimicry, camouflage, deception, parasitism—all are effects of an evolutionary arms race between different forms of intelligence sporting different strengths and suffering different limits.