16 September, 2009

The candle problem

If you are an experimentalist, please just skip it. I'll post something for you tomorrow.

Here is a famous test by Karl Duncker, he created it to study the "functional fixedness". So, you have a candle, a box of thumb-tacks and a book of matches:



The task is to attach the candle to the wall, in such a way that the wax doesn't drip onto the table (or the wall).

This is not kind of complicated, or is it? However the results of Duncker's studies were amazing - people solving the problem just to make fun were much faster than those, who were promised a reward (say, 50 dollars) for being the fastest.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

mmm, as long as the candle is not required to be lighted I don't see reason to find another asnwer.
zny

Lemeshko said...

A good point, zny, this is the first possibility. But there is a solution for a lighted candle either.

The Eclectic said...

However you choose to affix the candle to the wall, and there are several ways, let it drip into the box of thumbtacks. To affix the candle to the wall, tack the candle upright from the bottom of the box to the box, then tack the box through one of its sides to the wall.

Or am I missing something?

Lemeshko said...

Hi Electric, you are not missing anything - that's correct. :)