Set Breaker #19: Telephone Numbers

The Set Breaker

None – you won’t find people with unlisted numbers in the phone book.
If you got it wrong, you used irrelevant information, simply because it was ‘there’.
Other stumbling blocks to problem-solving include functional fixedness (where we perceive an item only in terms of its most common use) as well as introducing unnecessary constraints (such as with the nine-dot problem below).

Connect the nine dots without lifting your pen off the paper or crossing lines.

1

 

 

 

 

 

Scroll down for answer

 

 

 

 

 

People often can’t accomplish this because of the self-imposed restraint – not going outside the imaginary borders or having to go through the centre of the dot.

2

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Wayne Weiten. Psychology: Themes and Variations. Brooks/Cole Publishing, 1992.

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