Problem Solving and Decision Making

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 848
  • Published : October 24, 2006
Open Document
Text Preview
Improving individuals' and groups' abilities to solve problems and make decisions is recognized as an important issue in education, industry, and government. Recent research has identified a prescriptive model of problem solving, although there is less agreement as to appropriate techniques. Separate research on personality and cognitive styles has identified important individual differences in how people approach and solve problems and make decisions. This paper relates a model of the problem-solving process to Jung's theory of personality types (as measured by the MBTI) and identifies specific techniques to support individual differences. The recent transition to the information age has focused attention on the processes of problem solving and decision making and their improvement (e.g., Nickerson, Perkins, & Smith, 1985; Stice, 1987; Whimbey & Lochhead, 1982). In fact, Gagne (1974, 1984) considers the strategies used in these processes to be a primary outcome of modern education. Although there is increasing agreement regarding the prescriptive steps to be used in problem solving, there is less consensus on specific techniques to be employed at each step in the problem-solving/decision-making process. There is concurrent and parallel research on personality and cognitive styles that describes individuals' preferred patterns for approaching problems and decisions and their utilization of specific skills required by these processes (e.g., encoding, storage, retrieval, etc.). Researchers have studied the relationship between personality characteristics and problem-solving strategies (e.g., Heppner, Neal, & Larson, 1984; Hopper & Kirschenbaum, 1985; Myers, 1980), with Jung's (1971) theory on psychological type serving as the basis for much of this work, especially as measured by the MBTI (Myers & McCaulley, 1985). One conclusion that may be drawn from these investigations is that individual differences in problem solving and decision making must be considered to...
tracking img