Will you survive the next time?

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I've never been an active person and I never like to leave my house. This might explain why I became totally confused when I was asked to finish the survival game. I never think about what should I do if I was in a cold dangerous forest, and my innocence about survival in the extreme environment leads to an interesting outcome of the score I got in the game.

My ranking for the 12 items is: canvas, shirt and pants, chocolate bars, whiskey, compass, pistol, map, lighter, newspaper, ax, crisco shortening, ball of steel wool.

This ranking seemed pretty logical at that time, but after comparing with the survival expert's ranking, I found out that if I follow my ideas in the real situation, I might die. Then I went through my answers again, and I found out that my ranking was as logical as I thought.

Here is how I thought: canvas can build a shelter; clothes, chocolate and whiskey might keep me warm; compass gives me a direction; pistol protects me; map gives me a direction; lighter and newspapers creates fire and keeps me warm; ax helps to build shelter; shortening helps keep me warm; steel wool doesn't do anything.

Find the problem? The problem is not that I use some stuff in the wrong way; the problem is that I was only looking at the items themselves, but never considered what kind of problem could be solved by using these items. By saying that, I mean that if I was focusing on keeping warm, then I wouldn't insert compass, pistol and maps between the whiskey and the lighter which I think could make me warm. By doing this, I believe that my score would be better.

This reminds me of the backward chaining. I could consider the problem in this way:"What is the most important factor in such a terrible condition?--Keep warm. What kind of stuff can make me warm?--Canvas, clothes, chocolate, whiskey, lighter......." And by doing this, I found out that my score was better than my original score.

Now I believe that a logical thinking is extremely important when we solve problems. This is not just about the game or survival; it's about every aspect in our lives.



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Interesting that this much thought went into an exercise that I found very useless in regards to a psychology class. My initial reaction was that that this had nothing to do with psychology but after reading your blog I partly think that it wasn’t a complete waste of time. I agree that critical thinking is one of the most important skills to have and if properly utilized make life more enjoyable.

It is interesting how we are trapped into our mindset of thinking about one use for an object. As I went through this exercise as well, I was very set about my beliefs and thought they were accurate. It wasn't until I talked with my other group members that I realized how many different uses all of those resources could be used for. I hadn't any idea what a ball of steel wool could be used for, and after the professional survival guy talked and listed the importance of the items, I was surprised by how narrow minded I was at the conventions of the objects.

I too succumbed to the idea that I knew exactly what I wanted to do, but at the time of the exercise I failed to "think outside the box". I had the base survival idea down, we have to keep warm and have shelter of course! What I didn't have was how to use all of the things we had at our disposal like how seemingly unhelpful things could be USED to keep us warm instead of the obvious clothes or lighter. Good post, it really makes me think about how/if I would actually survive in the dead of winter with a bunch of random crap.

I actually did pretty well on this test in class but that was because I have grown up in the outdoors my whole life and have learned what to do in survival situations because it is a necessity to know if your going to be out in the middle of nowhere hunting or hiking and should a situation come up. Its really good for people to be exposed to this stuff now instead of when it might actually be needed

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This page contains a single entry by gongx109 published on March 26, 2012 11:36 PM.

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