Overview

means-end analysis


Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

A cognitive heuristic implemented by the General Problem Solver to deal with practical problems when the problem space is too large for exhaustive search to be used. The problem space is represented by an initial state (such as the starting position in a game of chess), a goal state (such as checkmating the opponent), and all possible intervening states that are achieved by actions involving the application of operators (such as chess moves) to existing states. If there is an action that immediately solves the problem, then it is implemented immediately; if not, the problem solver establishes the subgoal of maximally reducing the difference between the current state and the goal state; if an action can be found to achieve this subgoal, then it is implemented immediately; if not, the problem solver establishes the sub-subgoal of removing the constraints on achieving the subgoal; and so on. See also General Problem Solver.

Subjects: Psychology.


Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.