In my biology class, our long-term project involves the genetic modification of an organism. My group decided we wanted to genetically modify rose plants to express resistance to Japanese beetles. However, once we got to the research proposal part of the project, we found ourselves running into some problem-solving issues. We were having a really hard time applying what we learned in class (broad info) to our specific project. Moreover, we were pretty hung up on this one procedure that was provided in a sample project: the genetic modification of bananas. For a while, all of the methods we could think of were somehow influenced by the procedure detailed in the banana sample project. The unfortunate thing was, our project and the banana project-- while both related to plants-- were extremely different!! Our situation is an example of a "mental set," one of the obstacles to problem solving which "inhibits our ability to generate alternatives" (Lillienfeld 310). One way my group got around this was a hardcore brainstorming session, as well as talking to our professor. Getting new ideas from different sources and just sitting down and thinking things through thoroughly can help avoid the negative effects of mental sets, surface salience, and many other obstacles to problem solving. In the end, our research proposal consists of a completely different plasmid, promotor, transformation, and overall genetic manipulation plan than the sample. All we had to do was a little more thinking outside the box!