Functional Fixedness

  • Behavior
  • Cognitive Bias
  • Anchoring Bias

Functional Fixedness is another type of anchoring bias, it limits a person to only using a tool in a way it is traditionally used. Functional fixedness as being a mental block against using an object in a new way that is required to solve a problem. ref Functional fixedness is directly counter to creative problem solving and innovation.

Examples of Functional Fixedness

  • Not trying solutions from other industries to solve a problem.
  • Only using specialty software, like research software, when general applications can do similar actions.
  • Trying to use the same approach from past challenges if you know they are sub-optimal.
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