Definition: Functional fixedness is a cognitive bias that drives people to use objects in traditional, standard ways. Duncker (1945) used the term functional fixedness to refer to a situation in which a problem solver cannot think of a using an object in a new function that is required to solve the problem. Functional fixedness is a cognitive bias that strongly associates an object with its most common use. Functional fixedness is the inability to view an object as being able to fulfill any other function than what it is originally intended for. The whole point of the candle experiment is to demonstrate that overcoming functional fixedness can not be accelerated with carrots and sticks – on the contrary. The Gestalt psychological term functional fixedness refers to the degree of rigid definition people give to objects, making it difficult to see these objects as possessing functions outside of their definition. Functional Fixedness . So for example, say you need to open a can of broth but you only have a hammer. EXAMPLES. What is an example of functional fixedness? fixation . Functional fixedness is a special type of mental set that occurs when the intended purpose of an object hinders a person’s ability to see its potential other uses. Functional fixedness limits a hammer to be used to? Functional fixedness is the tendency to use an object only for the purpose it was designed for. A state of mind involving obsession with a particular person, idea, or thing. In thecandle problem (Duncker, 1945), subjects must attach a candle to a vertical surface, using only a box of tacks and a book of matches. While this is an efficient way for our minds to understand the world, it can impair innovation. Pound nails remove nails. Another example of rigidity occurs when a problem solver uses a well-learned procedure on a problem for which the procedure is inappropriate. Subjects exhibitfunctional fixedness by failing, or being slow, to make use of one object (the tack box) as a support, rather than as a container, in their solutions. Functional fixedness is commonly used to describe why an individual develops an inability to use an object in more ways than it is traditionally intended to be used, as function fixedness impairs their creativity. Our thoughts remain within a closed box of standard methods, thereby stopping out of the box thinking. A cognitive bias that limits a person to using an object only in the way it is traditionally used. Or actually… one example for, two examples … Functional fixedness is a cognitive bias that impacts an individual’s ability to be creative. Someone unable to use a roll of paper towels as a speaker because he just sticks to the knowledge of the roll's normal function. Our mind prevents us from thinking of new ways to use familiar objects. This approach is said to be a cognitive bias and can hamper the problem-solving abilities of a person. Here, I’d like to give three real-world examples for overcoming functional fixedness.