Another matchstick analogy illustrates a common flaw in our thinking, an inability for many to think different [ly] in order to solve novel problems. For example; try and think of a way you could make four equilateral triangles

```

/  \
/    \
/      \
/        \
/          \
/            \
/              \
/                \
/                  \
/                    \
/                      \
/                        \
/                          \
/                            \
/                              \
/                                \
/                                  \
/                                    \
/                                      \
/                                        \

----------------------------------------
```

Kinda like this one here

Out of six of these matchstick type things (presented below by our very own lovely Vanna White)

``` O   --------------------------------------
_|_/
|
/ \
```

Hokay. Think about it for a bit before you scroll down to fulfill your instant gratification addiction.Visualize a bit. Bend around some of the paperclips on your desk. It's kinda hard. Most people give up with something like this:

```

/  \
/    \
/      \
/        \
/          \
/            \
/              \
/                \
/                  \
/                    \
/                      \
/                        \
/                          \
/                            \
/                              \
/                                \
/                                  \
/                                    \
/                                      \

--------------------------------------

\                                    /
\                                  /
\                                /
\                              /
\                            /
\                          /
\                        /
\                      /
\                    /
\                  /
\                /
\              /
\            /
\          /
\        /
\      /
\    /
\  /

```

And they don't really know what to do with that extra one, becuase the only real thing you can do with it is stick it out at some funny place where it'll be all alone, and won't really do anything. But I insist, it can be done. The trick, is to think in 3D, like this;

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.
```

Psychologists refer to it as a fixed mental set - basically you get stuck thinking about a problem in a specfic context even if possible solutions exist within others. In this case, when people can't find a solution within a two dimensional context (which there is none), they jump to the conclusion that there is no solution, which is wrong - the matchstick problem can be solved, but only in three dimensions. Fixation within certain parameters prevents people from approaching problems from a different angle and finding novel solutions.