Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Reality and Problem Solving III

Further observations on the exploration of reality and how it effects problem solving and our perceptions of Ambiguity... It strikes me that there are always a number of realities present at any one time. The problem is that each of our realities, whilst they can be categorised is so inextricably linked with the others that they have interdependent relationships.
The first reality is that of self. Our perception of our selves forms a reality and helps often to inform how we will react, interact and create the second reality of situation which we perceive. In other words we have an internal reality and an existential reality or that of experience which is informed by our internal reality.

So if the totality of our reality is constructed from our internal representations of our experiences coupled with our constructed reality of our experience of self and the meanings we place on these, together with the (learnt) thinking strategy we are currently using; it is not going to be a surprise that we all have different realities.

Let me give you an example:

This morning I took my kids to school and it had been snowing. Much excitment, snow angles and snowball fights on they way to the school.

When I took my son in to his class his teacher said "He can go out and play in the snow for a while if he likes in the playground. We will call them when it's time to start." Big from my son and out he trots to play with his friends.

When I took my daughter to her class (all the same school) the teacher "No one is to go out, you must all stay in. I don't want you all getting wet." Big from my daughter (Who by the way calls her teacher Miss Devil!)

Two different teachers two very different frames of thinking and each with very different realities. The outcome two very different solutions each the product of their own realities.

I could be tempted of course to ask which is the correct reality, however this is either / or thinking and clearly both exist and are correct for the individual concerned.

My interest is:
a) How a persons thinking helps to construct their reality and how this in turn frames their thinking and therefore how they then define the problem and then once defined the strategy they use to find a solution. Often, I would propose, once the problem is defined (without much concious thought), the solution appears to be axiomatic to the individual concerned.
b) What place the emotions play in such problem definition and resolution.
c) What happens when there is a conflict of realities, thinking and emotions (my daughter and teacher),
d) Equally what happens when there is an agreement of realities (my son and his teacher) - how does this effect problem solving, and
e) How to 'free' up the problem solving as much as is possible from the reality frames created by people? I don't believe this is ever totally possible - a bit like being totally objective!

My answer thus far has been for people to explore with a frame of open discovery learning - exploring the possibilities with an attitude of being there to learn what we can - about the situation (reality 2) and more importantly ourselves (reality 1).

I am exploring other solutions to this. More to follow!

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