If you’re someone who still has no knowledge on what functional fixedness is, you’ve clicked on the right post. It is actually a kind of cognitive bias where a person has tendency of seeing objects to work in a specific way. For instance, if you consider a thumbtack, you will only view it as something that can be utilized for holding paper to a corkboard. The person might not accept all the other ways in which a thumbtack can be used. There are several cases where functional fixedness doesn’t let people to see the wide range of use of any object. This even hampers the capability of thinking about proper solutions to problems.
If you have to drive a nail inside a wall to hang a framed photo, what is the first thing that you should be searching for? Is it a hammer? But what if you have been spending enough time in searching the hammer but you didn’t get it at last? A friend finds you in such a situation and suggests you to use a metal wrench instead of a hammer. Now what made you to not think about the metal wrench? This is what is called functional fixedness and this prevents you from thinking of any other alternative solutions. If you’d like a bit better of an understanding on functional fixedness, you can head over to E-counseling.com to read more about it.
Functional fixedness in creativity and problem solving ability
If you know how Duncker saw problem-solving, you will rather find it illuminating enough. According to the process of solving problems developed by Duncker:
- In case an immediate goal can’t be reached through the behavior or normal actions of someone, it becomes an issue. There is always a problem which will arise when a human has a goal but doesn’t realize how to accomplish the goal. There should be recourse to thinking whenever he can’t get out from the current situation.
- The function or point of a solution is equal to a definite solution. This is exactly what you call the sense, the point of the solution and the principle.
- The first step to solving the problem is defining the principle of the solution. The final solution isn’t reached through a single step but on the contrary, the functional value of the solution arises first and then the solution in question develops as the concrete principle.
Hence, if you’ve got functional fixedness, know how you can live with it without affecting your problem-solving capabilities. You may even speak to a counselor if you need external help.