Questions Lead to Answers

Most of school has to do with understanding answers. But generating questions is often more difficult than generating answers. When questions ask for facts, we can rapidly tell whether we know the fact or not. If we don't know it, we usually know how to rapidly find it out (at least for the facts that tend to get covered in school). When questions ask for explanations, people are remarkably capable of rapidly generating hypotheses. This is because, besides pointing out the need for an answer, questions also point out which type of answer is required.

Questions are tied in our memory to strategies which guide us in figuring out answers. As an example, perhaps you just had some bad sushi and want to figure out a way to avoid having that happen again. If you ask yourself the right questions, you can tap into your previous experiences to help you figure out what to do.

Perhaps just the week before, you got bad seats at the baseball park, so you ask yourself what these two failures have in common. You know that arriving earlier at the ballpark helps you get better seats. So, you think about trying to arrive at the restaurant "earlier," which in this case might mean just after a fresh shipment of sushi comes in. Or you might ask yourself what getting old sushi has in common with getting old milk at the grocery. This question leads you to try to adapt your plan for getting fresh milk, grabbing containers from the back of the shelf. You might then decide to go to a sushi place late at night to see if the food seems fresher because by then they have had a chance to run through their older stock.

Next Story The Importance of Good Indices

Outline Where am I in the content of the book?

Give Me An Example

Give Me Alternatives

What Is Next?

What Led To This?

What Should Be Avoided

What Can Be Done?

Give Me Details

Give Me Background

Start Over Who Built Engines? Contact EFE Team ILS