Differences in the way people approach problems.

I have been looking for a good way to describe the two extremes in how people try and solve problems. I find that in one extreme a person will take everything they know about the problem and then craft a comprehensive solution to that problem based on that initial state. On the other extreme, a person will take an incomplete solution, test that solution on the problem, and then make changes as they see fit.
I think that this article that talks about the differences between deterministic and probabilistic models describes the two extremes that I had imagined. A deterministic model for a problem is one that assumes everything will happen as you expect and therefore a comprehensive solution to a problem can be crafted at the beginning. A probabilistic model is one that assumes that there is a certain amount of uncertainty in what will happen and therefore the model needs to allow for that variation.
What I liked about the article was it’s connection to these models and the differences in the way people see the world: “People ascribe meaning to anything from star patterns, tea leaves and moon phases to ease in finding a parking spot and not being in a certain place when a coconut falls. This is a way of turning a probabilistic world into a more deterministic and more meaningful world. Some people are happy with a probabilistic world, where things really do have a high degree of randomness. But often we are less happy when the randomness goes against us.”

Article: Deterministic and Probabilistic models and thinking


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