# Book Definition:

Cognitive strategies or "rules of thumb" used as shortcuts to solve complex mental tasks. Unlike algorithms, heuristics do not guarantee a correct solution.

## Quite Simply...

• Heuristics don't guarantee a correct solution, but can help lead us in the right direction.
• Something that can be applied to many situations and helps to solve a problem.
• A 'rule of thumb'; does not guarantee a solution.
• An easy way to aid in the solving of difficult problems

## Examples of Heuristics...

#### Working backwards:

• When you're stuck on a math problem, you may look at the back of the book for the answer and work backwards to solve the problem.
• The mazes on the back of kid's menus; kids may start at the end of the maze to find the correct path to the beginning.
• If you lose your car keys, you think back to when you last used them and play the event in your mind to see if you can remember.

#### Sarching for analogies:

• if a strategy worked for past problems, then try it on your new predicament.
• searching for similarities between an old problem that has been solved and a new problem

#### Breaking down the problem (into smaller more manageable pieces):

• Being able to simplify a math problem.
• The Psych calender; one big reading broken into sections to make it easier to read.
• LRQs (Little Reading Quizzes) every class to help prepare for the FRQ (Free Response Question) on the AP Test.

#### Other examples:

• You did not have time to read your novel for English, so the next day you go to a computer lab and go on Spark Notes.
• When completing puzzles you try to put different pieces in to see if they fit. You are using the heuristic of trial and error
• Instead of using a formula you were taught in math class, you may use some "magic" equation your friend taught you that usually works for him.
• "i" before "e" except after "c"