Article On Problem Solving

Article On Problem Solving-62
Problem Solving and Decision Making: Consideration of Individual Differences Using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator William G. Abstract Improving individuals' and groups' abilities to solve problems and make decisions is recognized as an important issue in education, industry, and government. Problem solving and decision making: Consideration of individual differences using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.They are also likely to value objectivity and to be impersonal in drawing conclusions.

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The integrated process is applicable to a variety of individual and group situations.

Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Process Problem solving is a process in which we perceive and resolve a gap between a present situation and a desired goal, with the path to the goal blocked by known or unknown obstacles.

The steps in both problem solving and decision making are quite similar.

In fact, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.

Most models of problem solving and decision making include at least four phases (e.g., Bransford & Stein, 1984; Dewey, 1933; Polya, 1971): 1) an Input phase in which a problem is perceived and an attempt is made to understand the situation or problem; 2) a Processing phase in which alternatives are generated and evaluated and a solution is selected; 3) an Output phase which includes planning for and implementing the solution; and 4) a Review phase in which the solution is evaluated and modifications are made, if necessary.

Most researchers describe the problem-solving/decision-making process as beginning with the perception of a gap and ending with the implementation and evaluation of a solution to fill that gap.Another strategy would be to consider first the problem-solving process and then to integrate individual preferences or patterns within this process.This second strategy is the perspective of this paper.By contrast, individuals with a feeling preference are more likely to consider values and feelings in the problem-solving process.They will tend to be subjective in their decision making and to consider how their decisions could affect other people.Consideration of Individual Differences Although there are a variety of ways to consider individual differences relative to problem solving and decision making, this paper will focus on personality type and temperament as measured by the MBTI.Personality Type and Problem Solving Researchers have investigated the relationship of Jung's theory of individuals' preferences and their approach to problem solving and decision making (e.g., Lawrence, 1982, 1984; Mc Caulley, 1987; Myers & Mc Caulley, 1985). When solving problems, individuals preferring introversion will want to take time to think and clarify their ideas before they begin talking, while those preferring extraversion will want to talk through their ideas in order to clarify them.In addition, Is will more likely be concerned with their own understanding of important concepts and ideas, while Es will continually seek feedback from the environment about the viability of their ideas.Sensing individuals will be more likely to pay attention to facts, details, and reality.That is, individuals and organizations must have a problem-solving process as well as specific techniques congruent with individual styles if they are to capitalize on these areas of current research.Mc Caulley (1987) attempted to do this by first focusing on individual differences in personality and then by presenting four steps for problem solving based on Jung's (1971) four mental processes (sensing, intuition, thinking, and feeling).

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