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"

See Also...

Algorithms - Problem-solving procedures or formulas that guarantee a correct outcome, if correctly applied

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

## Examples of Heuristics...

Working backwards:Sarching for analogies:Breaking down the problem (into smaller more manageable pieces):Other examples:## See Also...

## Additional Resources