You will often see beach clean-up drives being publicized in coastal cities. There are already dustbins available on the beaches, so why do people need to organize these drives? It’s evident that despite advertising and posting anti-littering messages, some of us don’t follow the rules.

Temporary food stalls and shops make it even more difficult to keep the beaches clean. Since people can’t ask the shopkeepers to relocate or prevent every single person from littering, the clean-up drive is needed.  This is an ideal example of problem-solving psychology in humans. So, what is problem-solving? Let’s find out.

What Is Problem-Solving?

At its simplest, the meaning of problem-solving is the process of defining a problem, determining its cause, and implementing a solution. The definition of problem-solving is rooted in the fact that as humans, we exert control over our environment through solutions. We move forward in life when we solve problems and make decisions. 

We can better define the problem-solving process through a series of important steps.

  1. Identify The Problem: 

This step isn’t as simple as it sounds. Most times, we mistakenly identify the consequences of a problem rather than the problem itself. It’s important that we’re careful to identify the actual problem and not just its symptoms. 

  1. Define The Problem: 

Once the problem has been identified correctly, you should define it. This step can help clarify what needs to be addressed and for what purpose.

  1. Form A Strategy: 

Develop a strategy to solve your problem. Defining an approach will provide direction and clarity on the next steps. 

  1. Organize The Information: 

Organizing information systematically will help you determine whether something is missing. The more information you have, the easier it’ll become for you to arrive at a solution.  

  1. Allocate Resources: 

We may not always be armed with the necessary resources to solve a problem. Before you commit to implementing a solution for a problem, you should determine the availability of different resources—money, time and other costs.

  1. Track Progress: 

The true meaning of problem-solving is to work towards an objective. If you measure your progress, you can evaluate whether you’re on track. You could revise your strategies if you don’t notice the desired level of progress. 

  1. Evaluate The Results: 

After you spot a solution, evaluate the results to determine whether it’s the best possible solution. For example, you can evaluate the success of a fitness routine after several weeks of exercise.

Meaning Of Problem-Solving Skill

Now that we’ve established the definition of problem-solving psychology in humans, let’s look at how we utilize our problem-solving skills.  These skills help you determine the source of a problem and how to effectively determine the solution. Problem-solving skills aren’t innate and can be mastered over time. Here are some important skills that are beneficial for finding solutions.

  1. Communication

Communication is a critical skill when you have to work in teams.  If you and your colleagues have to work on a project together, you’ll have to collaborate with each other. In case of differences of opinion, you should be able to listen attentively and respond respectfully in order to successfully arrive at a solution.

  1. Research

As a problem-solver, you need to be able to research and identify underlying causes. You should never treat a problem lightly. In-depth study is imperative because often people identify only the symptoms and not the actual problem.

  1. Analyze

Once you have researched and identified the factors causing a problem, start working towards developing solutions. Your analytical skills can help you differentiate between effective and ineffective solutions.

  1. Decision-Making

You’ll have to make a decision after you’ve identified the source and methods of solving a problem. If you’ve done your research and applied your analytical skills effectively, it’ll become easier for you to take a call or a decision.


Organizations really value decisive problem-solvers. Harappa Education’s Defining Problems course will guide you on the path to developing a problem-solving mindset. Learn how to identify the different types of problems using the Types of Problems framework. Additionally, the SMART framework, which is a five-point tool, will teach you to create specific and actionable objectives to address problem statements and arrive at solutions. 

Explore topics & skills such as Problem Solving Skills, PICK Chart, How to Solve Problems & Barriers to Problem Solving from our Harappa Diaries blog section and develop your skills.

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