Trial and Error


Definition: Trial and Error is an experimental problem solving method. It is characterized by repeated, varied attempts. It is typically an unsystematic method.
T&E is one of 2 basic approaches to problem solving. Unlike reasoning methods (e.g. deduction, induction, abduction, analogy), T&E does not use rationality, insight or theory.
The T&E approach is most successful with simple problems, and is often resorted to when no apparent rules apply.
It can be used in a methodical way to manipulate variables in an attempt to discover dependencies that may result in success. But this method is typically used by people who know little about the problem area. See also Heuristics.


More on problem solving: Catch-22, Evaporating Cloud, Heuristics, Hypothesis Testing, Intuition, more...


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