Simplify Your Problems: The Psychology of Choice
4.1 (110 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
3,195 students enrolled

Simplify Your Problems: The Psychology of Choice

A simple problem solving model to improve critical thinking, organization, productivity, management and creative skills.
4.1 (110 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
3,195 students enrolled
Created by Richard Feenstra
Last updated 8/2015
English [Auto]
Current price: $16.99 Original price: $24.99 Discount: 32% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 1 article
  • 4 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
Training 5 or more people?

Get your team access to 4,000+ top Udemy courses anytime, anywhere.

Try Udemy for Business
What you'll learn
  • In this course you will learn how to identify a problem, develop and compare solutions, execute a plan and assess the extent to which the problem was solved.
  • By the end of the course you will know how to develop a concept map and use a fishbone diagram.
  • During the course you will be able to demonstrate understanding of how to trace a problem to the root cause.
  • Note taking device such as a tablet is recommended by not required.
  • This course is in English.

Course Summary
Today more than ever, being able to effectively demonstrate you can solve problems is a critical skill for success. This short, 30 minute course teaches the I.D.E.A. model, a simple four-step problem solving process that can be applied to almost any problem you want to resolve. The course is structured by providing short lectures on how to use each individual step and includes access to additional tools and strategies that can be used along with the model. The course also includes a brief overview of a number of well known problem solving tools that you can use such as concept mapping, fishbone diagrams or establishing SMART goals. 

The I.D.E.A. model includes how to; 

  • Identify a problem

  • Develop and compare solutions

  • Execute a plan to achieve the solution

  • Assess the extent to which the problem was solved

Also included with the course is access to a number of scientific articles related to problem solving, decision making and creativity. 

Who this course is for:
  • This course is appropriate for anyone that is interested in developing general problem solving skills.
Course content
Expand all 12 lectures 49:27
+ Welcome
1 lecture 02:46

A quick introduction that discusses the main purpose of the course and how you can get the most out of the materials provided. Course Notes are available for download.

Preview 02:46
+ IDEA Overview
1 lecture 02:12

This lecture provides a brief overview of the 4 steps of the IDEA model covered in the course.

Model Overview
+ Using IDEA
5 lectures 21:46

This lecture discusses how to identify problems using both an informal method of asking "why" as well as more formal methods including fishbone diagrams and concept mapping. The lecture also includes two links to supplemental resources as well as two full scale, downloadable examples of concept maps.

Preview 04:38

After identifying a problem, the next step is to develop solutions. This lecture discusses five general strategies that can be used to develop solutions as well as three ways to compare solutions.

There is also a downloadable, 4th method for comparing options, "The Rubber Band Model".


When problems are complex and contain unknown variables outside of your control, using decision scenarios can help you develop multiple solutions.

Using Decision Scenarios

Once a solution has been chosen, you still need to execute. While there are a variety of ways to execute a solution, this lecture discusses the use of SMART goals as one method to go from concept to implementation.


The last step in the IDEA model is to determine success. This lecture discusses the importance of assessment as well as what to do if the assessment shows the problem has not yet been solved.

+ Quiz
0 lectures 00:00
Five Question Quiz
5 questions
+ Congratulations!
5 lectures 22:42

While the course provides a number of tools and techniques to help when solving a problem, the main take away of the course is to remember to use the acronym I.D.E.A. the next time you are dealing with an issue.

Check Out the Resource List

Before you go, be sure to check out the resources page in the supplemental material, as there are a number of good research articles you can download ($30 value) and recommended books, many of which were used to create this course.

Provide a Review

To help other students, please take a moment to provide a review. If you have any feedback on how I can improve the course or something you would like to see, please don't hesitate to send me a message. Taking a minute to provide a review helps students find the course and lets them know how they can benefit.

Say Hello

Last, please feel free to reach out, even if it is just to say hello. Besides Udemy, you can find me on LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter or subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

Summary - Final Notes

This lecture discusses how to use the IDEA model to consider how we solve problems under pressure. The lecture also gives a number of tips you can use to improve your problem solving abilities.

Preview 07:18

A key aspect of problem solving is time management. One technique for managing time is by using a well known model of time management, the Eisenhower Matrix.

Bonus Lecture: Using the Eisenhower Matrix - Time Management

The “anchoring effect” is a well established psychological principle that often influences our judgments. This can impact how we solve problems. Research has shown that even when we are aware information is not accurate, it still provides an anchor from which we adjust. The end result is an inaccurate decision tied to the anchor.

Supplemental Lecture: The Anchoring Effect

Part of identifying a problem is digging to the root cause, but this can be made more difficult if you mistake correlation for causation. In this lecture you learn the difference between the two.

Supplemental Lecture: How Ice Cream Kills - Identification of Cause