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Failure to consider alternatives fully is the most common cause of flawed or incomplete analysis.(page xiii) As a result [of taking an instinctive, intuitive approach] we unwittingly, repeatedly, habitually commit a variety of analytic sins.They're using an inappropriate approach without realizing it. You can look high and low, and under every bush in plain sight, but unless you're using an analytical approach you will never find enough pieces of the puzzle to solve a difficult problem.
the mind generally remains closed to alternatives, favoring instead the first satisfactory decision or solution.
Consequently, the outcome is frequently flawed or at least less effective than would be the case with the structured approach.
If you’re a good writer, you might be tempted to take the GRE essay portion without practicing.
That’s not a great idea–the issue essay is a different kind of essay than you’ve probably had to write in school, and you might miss the mark if you don’t practice.
We aren't interested in the process and don't really understand it.
Most people are functionally illiterate when it comes to structuring their problems.
Discussing and thinking hard can be like pedaling an exercise bike: they expend lots of energy and sweat but go nowhere.
Like the traveler who is so distracted by the surroundings that he loses his way, we focus on the substance (evidence, arguments, and conclusions) and not on the process of our analysis.
The key word in the above definition is "appropriate." If your problem solving process doesn't fit the problem at hand, you can execute the process to the highest quality possible and still not solve the problem.
This is the reason most people fail to solve difficult problems.