How do experts solve their problems?

There are three parts of a process called recognition-primed decision making. These are:

  • They recognise the situation immediately, having already been expecting it and assessing the situation as the problem arose. They directly apply a solution which from experience seems appropriate.
  • If the problem confronting them is not immediately recognisable, they search for clues and cues which allow them to place it into an already known category of problem and then apply the solution.
  • If the situation is not recognised as being familiar, then the analysis of action options begins by modifying the typical solution that most closely resembles the one corresponding to the nearest known situation. This initial selection of a solution is followed by a continuing cycle of action, monitoring and evaluation that makes small adjustments to the solution as events unfold.

This method differs from the classic problem solving strategies in that:

  • monitoring of the situation is continuous
  • changes made to the solution once under way are generally relatively small.