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Life Sciences => Physiology & Medicine => Topic started by: neilep on 13/08/2019 15:27:37

Title: Why Is It Easier To Complete A Puzzle After A "time-out" ?
Post by: neilep on 13/08/2019 15:27:37
Dearest Puzzologists,


As a sheepy during my morning commute on the train, not only do I listen to the Beach Boys "Sheep Sounds" ewesing my "BLEATS"  but I also do word puzzles !...I have found that when I become stuck on a puzzle and then put it away till the commute home that I can then instantly comBLEAT the once offending puzzle from the morning with ease !

What's going on here ? why does a break from a problem then yield positive results when returned to later ? What's the process ?


Hugs and shmishes for your kind consideration in the matter !!




Neil


mwah mwah wmah xxxxxx










As a puzzling sheep when I'm hitting the tube
I'm listen to music cos I'm in the mood
And a puzzle to distract the time away
But it's mainly complete at the END of the day !!
Title: Re: Why Is It Easier To Complete A Puzzle After A "time-out" ?
Post by: Halc on 13/08/2019 15:45:34
As a sheepy during my morning commute on the train, not only do I listen to the Beach Boys "Sheep Sounds" ewesing my "BLEATS"  but I also do word puzzles !...I have found that when I become stuck on a puzzle and then put it away till the commute home that I can then instantly comBLEAT the once offending puzzle from the morning with ease !
I get the same effect.  I suspect certain assumptions act as mental blocks pulling WOOL over your eyes, and giving it a rest allows these blocks to evaporate.  Looking at the problem anew after a time forces one to reassess what's going on, and often that assessment sees new things that were assumed not there before.  Something like that.

Somewhat related:  I often can't think of a name of a word, person or movie or something, and the harder I try, the more impossible the task of recollection.  Later on, I casually need the same word and it pops effortlessly to mind.  The explanation I give above seems not very relevant to that effect, but both involve setting the problem aside.

Sleeping on it works because your ability to think is severely impaired if you need sleep.  I learned in school not to cram all night, but to get proper sleep before an exam and possibly review the material an hour before the test.
Title: Re: Why Is It Easier To Complete A Puzzle After A "time-out" ?
Post by: chiralSPO on 13/08/2019 15:56:29
It is also quite possible that you are still working on solving the problem subconsciously.
Title: Re: Why Is It Easier To Complete A Puzzle After A "time-out" ?
Post by: neilep on 13/08/2019 16:12:55
As a sheepy during my morning commute on the train, not only do I listen to the Beach Boys "Sheep Sounds" ewesing my "BLEATS"  but I also do word puzzles !...I have found that when I become stuck on a puzzle and then put it away till the commute home that I can then instantly comBLEAT the once offending puzzle from the morning with ease !
I get the same effect.  I suspect certain assumptions act as mental blocks pulling WOOL over your eyes, and giving it a rest allows these blocks to evaporate.  Looking at the problem anew after a time forces one to reassess what's going on, and often that assessment sees new things that were assumed not there before.  Something like that.

Somewhat related:  I often can't think of a name of a word, person or movie or something, and the harder I try, the more impossible the task of recollection.  Later on, I casually need the same word and it pops effortlessly to mind.  The explanation I give above seems not very relevant to that effect, but both involve setting the problem aside.

Sleeping on it works because your ability to think is severely impaired if you need sleep.  I learned in school not to cram all night, but to get proper sleep before an exam and possibly review the material an hour before the test.


I am very very grateful for your great answer.

I too occasionally  have trouble recollecting a name or a subject and this is very relevant to a question I asked here years ago regarding the fact that we know we know the answer to something but can't recollect it to communicate it, and yet, we know we know we know the answer !!.. I find this an unusual state to be in. 
Title: Re: Why Is It Easier To Complete A Puzzle After A "time-out" ?
Post by: neilep on 13/08/2019 16:16:01
It is also quite possible that you are still working on solving the problem subconsciously.


This is very true, perhaps somewhere inside we have an instinct/intuition that recollects information that consciously we can't recall.

Makes me wonder now if we all have photographic memories and only a few have the ability to unlock it, or the process that denies access to the info is switched off in them ?  hmmmm !!
Title: Re: Why Is It Easier To Complete A Puzzle After A "time-out" ?
Post by: Halc on 13/08/2019 17:12:41
Quote from: Halc
Somewhat related:  I often can't think of a name of a word, person or movie or something, and the harder I try, the more impossible the task of recollection.  Later on, I casually need the same word and it pops effortlessly to mind.  The explanation I give above seems not very relevant to that effect, but both involve setting the problem aside.
I too occasionally  have trouble recollecting a name or a subject and this is very relevant to a question I asked here years ago regarding the fact that we know we know the answer to something but can't recollect it to communicate it, and yet, we know we know we know the answer !!.. I find this an unusual state to be in.
It is quite usual for me.  Do it a lot.  I call it going sideways in the pipe, sort of like failing to keep your toes pointed as you try to put on your pants.  The foot goes sideways and pushing harder just makes it worse.  Thinking too hard is like pushing harder.  Trick is to back off and do other things, and when you get back to it, it isn't stuck in the pipe anymore and goes through effortlessly.
Title: Re: Why Is It Easier To Complete A Puzzle After A "time-out" ?
Post by: neilep on 13/08/2019 17:47:00
Quote from: Halc
Somewhat related:  I often can't think of a name of a word, person or movie or something, and the harder I try, the more impossible the task of recollection.  Later on, I casually need the same word and it pops effortlessly to mind.  The explanation I give above seems not very relevant to that effect, but both involve setting the problem aside.
I too occasionally  have trouble recollecting a name or a subject and this is very relevant to a question I asked here years ago regarding the fact that we know we know the answer to something but can't recollect it to communicate it, and yet, we know we know we know the answer !!.. I find this an unusual state to be in.
It is quite usual for me.  Do it a lot.  I call it going sideways in the pipe, sort of like failing to keep your toes pointed as you try to put on your pants.  The foot goes sideways and pushing harder just makes it worse.  Thinking too hard is like pushing harder.  Trick is to back off and do other things, and when you get back to it, it isn't stuck in the pipe anymore and goes through effortlessly.


Its quirky though isn't it ? to be aware positively of the answer (therefore the answer is there in your memory somewhere) and yet be unable to communicate it ! I like your sideways in the pipe......next time , I will arrange a distraction when I need to remember something , perhaps an intervening cabaret by a school of delinquent haddock !!..lol   thanks again :-)
Title: Re: Why Is It Easier To Complete A Puzzle After A "time-out" ?
Post by: alancalverd on 14/08/2019 18:05:34
In extremis, many (possibly most or nearly all) people keep repeating an action that has already proved futile. This has been the cause of several potentially survivable accidents. It seems likely to me that we can get stuck in a blind alley when solving almost any problem from Sudoku (though it baffles me why anyone even begins) to Flight 401 or living with an abusive partner.

The futility of our actions, and the more productive alternatives, are almost always obvious to accident investigators and genuine friends.

So my thinking at this trivial level is  that after pursuing any red herring for a few minutes, the brain can get locked into an obsessive/panic mode fuelled by a hint of adrenalin, and a cup of tea (or even a day in the office) just breaks the cycle: no huge insight or revelation, but just not banging your head against the wall for a few seconds.