Introduction to Basic I-TRIZ
 I-TRIZ Foundations
 Levels of Invention
 Inventive Problem
   Psychological Inertia
   Contradictions
 Patterns of Invention
   Analogical Thinking
   Directions
 Patterns of Evolution
 Ideality
   Ideal System
   Ideal Vision
   Functional Modeling
   Local Ideality
 Resources
   Derived Resources
   Insufficient Resources
 Problem Solving
 Brainstorming
 Ideation Process

Psychological Inertia

Until now, inventive problem solving was addressed by the field of psychology, where the links between the brain and innovation are studied. Methods such as brainstorming and trial-and-error are commonly used.

 

Let P represent a problem. A solution, S, lies somewhere in the solution space, but we do not know where. To find the solution we must first identify the direction that leads to it. We make an attempt in one direction (concept 1 and its variants) and fail. We make another attempt, and another, then another -- with the same result. If the solution happens to reside within our field of expertise or experience, the number of trials required will be relatively fewer. But if this is not the case, our search is likely to be difficult. For example, if a mechanical problem has a chemical solution, much time can be wasted exploring the direction of mechanics. This phenomenon, where familiar directions are pursued and alternative technologies go unexplored, is called psychological inertia. Psychological inertia can be a very time-consuming and destructive issue in the inventive process.

 

The table below explains why inventive problems are especially difficult to solve.

 

Levels

Degree of inventiveness

% of solutions

Source of knowledge

Approximate # of trials

1

Apparent solution

68.3%

Personal knowledge

10

2

Minor improvement

27.1%

Knowledge within the company

100

3

Major improvement

4.3%

Knowledge within the industry

1000

4

New paradigm

0.24%

Knowledge outside the industry

100,000

5

Discovery

0.06%

All that is knowable

1,000,000