Why the Question Is Important

Why the Question Is Important

Errors are costly: We believe in the significance of this question is fairly self clear: decisions figure out important conclusions for families , individuals , governments,  businesses & societies and if we knew more as regards how to recover those conclusions, families, individuals, governments , businesses & societies would promote. After all, errors provoked by favouritism in judgment direct decision makers to under save for retirement, employ in needless conflict, tie the knot with the wrong partners, agree to the wrong jobs, & wrongly march into countries. Given the enormous costs that can result from average decision making, it is significant for our field to spotlight increased effort on improving our knowledge regarding strategies that can guide to better decisions.

Errors will get even costlier: The costs of average decision making have grown, even since the first signal of investigate on decision biases began 50 years ago. As additional economies have moved from a reliance on agriculture to a reliance on industry, the importance of best decision making has increased. In a knowledge based economy, we recommend that a knowledge worker’s chief deliverable is a good decision. In addition, more & more people are being tasked with assembling decisions that are probably to be unfair – because of the existence of a large amount of information, simultaneous choice, time pressure or some other restraints. Finally, as the economy becomes more and more global, each unfair decision is probable to have inference for a broader swath of society.

Decision makers are receptive: As decision making research is applicable to business people, lawyers, politicians, physicians, private citizens, & many other groups for whom failures to make best choices can be tremendously costly, boundaries uncovered by researchers in our field are broadly revealed & highlighted to students in several different professional & undergraduate degree programs. Those who are bared to our research are willing to become skilled at the practical implications of the knowledge we have gathered about unfair decision making so they can recover their own outcomes. However, our field primarily offers explanation about the unfairness that bothers decision makers without insight into how errors can be removed or at least reduced.

Academic insights awaits: supporting our efforts to discover techniques for improving decision making is probably to deliver additional benefits to researchers interested in the mental processes that motivate unfair judgment. Through precise testing of what does & what do not improve decision making, researchers are sure to expand an understanding of the mechanisms underlying decision making errors. This will expand our already rich descriptive understanding of decision making.


What Needs to be Done to Answer the Question

Assuming we recognize the significance of revealing strategies to fend off decision-making errors, the next question is from where to begin? To tackle this question, we arrange the scattered information that judgment & decision-making scholars have collected over the last quite a few decades about how to decrease unfair decision making. Our study of the existing literature on development strategies is designed to emphasize the most promising avenues for future research on cures for unfair decision making.


Debiasing Intuition: Early Failures

Before discussing successful strategies for improving decision making, it is significant to note how complicated finding solutions have proved to be. In 1982, Fischhoff reassessed the results of 4 strategies that had been planned as solutions for unfair decision making:

(1) Contributing warnings about the likelihood of unfairness

(2) Describing the way of a unfairness

(3) Providing a measure of feedback

(4) Offering an extensive program of training with feedback, coaching & other interventions designed to progress judgment.  According to Fischhoff’s results, which have withstood 25 years of examination, the first three strategies give up least success, & even severe, personalized feedback produced only reasonable improvements in decision making (Bazerman and Moore, 2008). This news was not heartening for psychologists & economists who expect their research might recover people’s conclusion & decision-making abilities.


System 1 and System 2

We believe that Stanovich & West’s (2000) difference between System 1 & System 2 cognitive performances provides a functional framework for organizing both what scholars have learnt to date about efficient strategies for improving decision making & prospect efforts to discover improvement strategies. System 1 refers to our instinctive system, which is automatic, fast, implicit effortless and emotional. System 2 refers to way of thinking that is slow, effortful, conscious, logical and explicit. People often lack significant information concerning a decision, fail to notice accessible information, face time & cost constraints & maintain a moderately small amount of information in their usable memory. The busier folks are, the more they have on their minds & the more time limits they face, the more probably they will be to rely on System 1 thinking. Consequently, the anxious pace of life is probably to direct us to rely on System 1 thinking much of the time & to make costly errors.


An Important Question: Can We Move from System 1 to System 2?

We believe in number of promising strategies have been exposed for overcoming specific decision unfairness by moving people from System 1 to System 2 thinking.1 One successful strategy for shifting toward System 2 thinking relies on restoring instinct with formal investigative processes. For example, when data exists on past inputs to & outcomes from a particular decision-making process, decision makers can create a linear model, or a method that weights & sums the appropriate predictor variables to arrive at a quantitative forecast about the result. Researchers have found that linear models predict that are better to those of experts across an inspiring array of domains (Dawes, 1971). The value of linear models in admissions, hiring, & selection decisions is highlighted by research that Sharek, Moore, Swift

& Gino (2007) conducted on the explanation of grades, which shows that graduate school admissions officers are not able to account for the clemency of grading at an applicant’s undergraduate institution when deciding between applicants from different schools. The authors quarrel that it would be simple to set up a linear model to avoid this error. Generally, we consider that the use of linear models can help decision makers to evade the pitfalls of many judgment biases, so far this method has only been tested in a small subset of the potentially related domains. Another System 2 strategy involves taking an outsider’s viewpoint: trying to remove oneself psychologically from a precise state or to consider the class of decisions to which the current difficulty belongs (Kahnmean and Lovallo, 1993). Taking an outsider’s point of view has been shown to lessen decision maker’s overconfidence about their knowledge, the time it would take them to accomplish a task and their probability of capitalist success (Cooper, Woo, and Dunkelberg, 1988). Decision makers may also be able to perk up their judgments by asking a real outsider for his or her view regarding a decision. Other research on the authority of shifting people towards System 2 thinking has revealed that simply encouraging people to “consider the opposite” of whatsoever decision they are about to make reduces errors in judgment due to some tough decision prejudice: anchoring, overconfidence &the hindsight bias.  Partial debiasing of errors in decision classically classified as the result of “biases and heuristics” has also been achieved by having groups rather than individuals make decisions, training individuals in statistical reasoning & making people responsible for their decisions. One hopeful debiasing strategy is to destabilize the cognitive mechanism that is imagined to be the foundation of bias with a targeted signal to rely on System 2 processes. In a study designed to reduce retrospection unfairness (the tendency to overstress the degree to which one could have expected a particular result in prudence), Slovic & Fischhoff developed a theory about the mechanism producing the partiality. They believed that retrospection partiality resulted from subjects’ failure to use their available knowledge & powers of conclusion. Equipped with this insight, Slovic & Fischhoff imagined & establish that subjects were more challenging to the unfairness if they were provided with proof opposing to the actual result. This result suggests that the most productive directions for researchers seeking to reduce heuristics & unfairness may be those predicated upon “some understanding of & theory about people’s cognitive processes” & how they might direct to a given prejudice. besides these lines, another group of researchers imagined that over claiming credit results from focusing only on approximation of one’s own contributions & ignoring those of others in a group. They found that requiring people to approximate not only their own offerings but also those of others reduces over claiming. Another hopeful stream of research that examines how System 2 thinking can be pulled to lessen System 1 errors has revealed that analogical analysis can be used to lessen limits on people’s awareness. Building on the work of Loewenstein, Thompson and Gentner (2000), both Bereby-Meyer, Chugh, Idson, Moran, Bazerman and Grosskopf (2004) & Bazerman, Moran and Riton (2008) found that individuals who were encouraged to see & appreciate the common principle underlying a set of not related tasks afterwards demonstrated an enhanced skill to find out solutions in a different task that relied on the same primary principle. This work is reliable with Thompson et al.’s (2000) study that surface details of learning opportunities often divert us from considering important primary, generalizable principles. Analogical analysis appears to offer hope for overcoming this wall to decision improvement.

Work on joint vs separate decision making also suggests that people can move from suboptimal System 1 thinking towards enhanced System 2 thinking when they think about & choose between numerous options at the same time rather than accepting or rejecting options independently.

Research on joint vs separate decision making highlights the detail that our first desire tend to be more affecting than rational. Some supplementary suggestive results in this area include the findings that determination is destabilized when people are positioned under severe cognitive load & when they are innocent in a choice domain. Other research has revealed that people make less spontaneous, suboptimal decisions in many domains when they make choices additional in advance of their consequences, A question we pretence in light of this research is when & how cautiously selected contextual changes promoting increased cognition can be leveraged to lessen the effects of decision making prejudices?


An extra Important Question is Can we influence System 1 to Improve Decision Making?

Albert Einstein once said, “We cannot resolve problems by means of the same thinking we used when we created them.”  Although, it is possible that the unconscious mental system can do just that. In recent years, a new all-purpose strategy for recovering prejudiced decision making has been projected that leverages our regular cognitive processes & turns them to our advantage. Rather than trying to change thinking of decision maker from System 1 to System 2, this strategy tries to change the situation so that System 1 thinking will direct to good results. This type of enhancement strategy, which Thaler & Sunstein talk about at length in their book Nudge (2008), calls upon those who propose situations in which choices are made (whether they be the decision  of makers or “choice architects”) to take full advantage of the chances that decision makers will make sensible choices given known decision prejudice. For example, unfairness towards inaction creates a preference for default options. Choice architects can use this insight to improve decision making by making sure that the accessible default is the choice that is probably to be best for decision makers. For instance, making 401k enrolment a default has been revealed to significantly increase employees’ savings rates. There are also a number of suggestive proofs that leveraging System 1 thinking to perk up System 1 choices may be predominantly effective in the kingdom of decision-making unfairness that people do not like to confess or believe they are liable to. For instance, many of us are liable to understood racial bias but feel painful admitting this fact, even to ourselves. Cognisant efforts to simply “do better” on inherent unfairness tests are usually useless. However, individuals whose mental or physical surroundings are shaped by the participation of a black experimenter rather than a white experimenter show less inherent racial bias. The result of this “change the environment” approach contrast roughly with the malfunction of “try harder” result, which rely on cognisant effort. In précis, can solutions to prejudices that people are reluctant to recognize be found in the same automatic systems that generate this class of problems?



People put huge trust in their instinct. The past fifty years of decision-making research confronts that trust. A key job for psychologists is to recognize how & in what situations people should try to move from instinctively persuasive System 1 thinking to more deliberative System 2 thinking & to plan situations that make System 1 thinking work in the favour of decision-maker. Clearly, small decisions do not need a complete System 2 process or new decision structural design. Though, the more intensely we understand the consequences of System 1 thinking, the more deeply we wish empirically tested strategies for attaining improved decisions. Recent decades have delivered description in great quantity. This paper calls for more research on strategies for getting better decisions.

This paper reviews research on dynamic decision making, i.e., decision making beneath conditions which need a series of decisions, where the decisions are dependent, where the condition of the world changes, both unconventionally & as an effect of the actions of decision maker & where the decisions have to be completed in real time. It is difficult to find useful normative hypothesis for these kinds of decisions & research has to focus on expressive issues. A general approach, based on control theory, is projected as a means to systematize research in the area. An experimental concept for the study of dynamic decision making, that of computer enthused micro worlds, is discussed, & two approaches using this concept are described: the individual differences approach, characteristic of German work in the custom of research on composite problem solving, and the investigational approach. In studies following the earlier approach, the behaviour of groups contradictory in performance is evaluated, either with respect to strategies or with respect to presentation on psychological tests. The results show that there are broad inter individual differences in performance, but no constant correlations between performance in micro worlds & scores on conventional psychological tests have been found. Experimental research studying the special effects of system features, such as complexity & feedback delays, on dynamic decision making has revealed that decision performance in dynamic tasks is powerfully affected by feedback delays & whether or not the decisions have side effects. even though neither approach has guide to any well-developed hypothesis of dynamic decision making so far, the results nonetheless specify that we are now able to produce reliable experimental results in the laboratory, results that have the same opinion with those found in field studies of dynamic decision making. This shows that a significant first step towards a better understanding of these occurrences has been taken.

The aim of this position paper is to regard as the decision-making process as a central part of goal-directed behaviour which is inclined by functional constraints at the level of the environment–athlete relationship. To reach at this aim we discuss appropriate hypothetical ideas from ecological psychology, focusing on ecological dynamics, as a contrast to more conventional viewpoint on decision making behaviour. To sustain the argumentation we in brief explain some recent experiential data from studies of sports that highlight this alternative viewpoint on decision making. We conclude that conventional approaches investigate decisions as if they were not stranded, i.e., expressed behaviourally through actions in performance perspective. It is disputed that an ecological approach should examine action probabilities, when studying cognition in sport, demanding an incorporation of theories & ideas from the natural sciences in order to recognize concepts like information & intentionality.

Decision-making behaviour is best measured at the point of the performer–environment relationship & viewed as up-and-coming from the communications of individuals with environmental constraints over time towards precise functional goals.

Decision field theory provides for a mathematical foundation leading to a dynamic, stochastic theory of decision behaviour in a doubtful environment. This theory is used to explain

(1) Desecration of stochastic dominance

(2) Desecration of strong stochastic transitivity

(3) Desecration of independence between alternatives

(4) Serial place effects on favouritism

(5) speed–correctness exchange effects in decision making

(6) The inverse relation between choice likelihood & decision time

(7) Changes in the direction of favouritism under time pressure

(8) Slower decision times for avoidance as compared with approach disagreement

(9) Preference reversals between choice & selling price measures of preference.

The proposed theory is compared with four other theories of decision making under uncertainty.

Prior research shows people suffer from misperceptions of feedback, generating systematic dysfunctional behaviour in the presence of dynamic complexity – settings with multiple feedback loops, nonlinearities & time delays. However, prior work has not adequately mapped the effect of these elements of complexity on performance. We report an experiment where subjects managed an inventory in the face of stochastic sales, a classic dynamic decision task. We vary the time delays and strength of the feedback loops to explore the impact of these elements of dynamic complexity on behaviour. Subjects faced financial incentives and had opportunities to learn. However, performance was considerably worse than optimal across all conditions. Subjects outperformed a naive “do-nothing” rule in the simple conditions, but performance deteriorated dramatically with increasing time delays and feedback effects, and most were outperformed by the do-nothing rule in the complex conditions. Regression analysis of subjects′ decisions showed most ignored the supply line of pending production & under controlled the system. Under control increased considerably with growing time delays & feedback strength, showing subjects were inadequately adaptive despite perfect knowledge of system structure & parameters. Subject understands of complex feedback settings declines as delays between cause and effect increase and as actions have stronger side effects. Few indications were found of active experimentation or learning: the need to control seemed to override the ability to learn.

Improving individual’s & group’s abilities to solve problems & make decisions is documented as an important issue in industry, government & education. Recent research has recognized a prescriptive model of problem solving, even though there is less agreement as to suitable techniques. Separate research on personality & cognitive styles has acknowledged important individual differences in how people approach & solve problems & make decisions. This paper communicates a model of the problem-solving process to Jung’s theory of personality types & 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.  In fact, Gagne (1974, 1984) considers the strategies used in these processes to be a primary outcome of modern education. Even though there is growing agreement regarding the prescriptive steps to be used in problem solving, there is less agreement 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, retrieval, storage etc.). Researchers have studied the relationship between personality characteristics and problem-solving strategies (e.g., Heppner, Neal, & Larson, 1984; Hopper & Kirshenbaum, 1985; Myers, 1980), with Jung’s (1971) theory on psychological type serving as the basis for much of this work, particularly as measured by MBTI.

One conclusion that may be drawn from these investigations is that individual differences in problem solve and decision making must be considered to adequately understand the dynamics of these processes (Stice, 1987). Attention must be paid to both the problem-solving process and the specific techniques associated with important personal characteristics. That is, individuals & 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.

McCauley (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 (intuition , feeling , sensing & thinking). Another strategy would be to think first the problem-solving process and then to integrate individual preference within this process. This second strategy is the viewpoint of this paper.

The purpose of this paper is to relate a model of the problem-solving process to a theory of personality type and nature in order to facilitate problem solving by centring on important individual differences. Precise techniques that can be used in the problem-solving & decision-making process to take advantage of these differences are also identified. The integrated process is valid to a variety of individual & group situations.

Problem Solving & Decision Making Process

Problem solving is a process in which we observe & determine a gap between a present situation & a desired goal, with the trail to the goal blocked-up by known or unknown obstacles. In general, the situation is not earlier encountered, or where at least a precise solution from past experiences is not known. In distinction, decision making is a selection process where one of two or more possible solutions is selected to arrive at a desired goal. The steps in both problem solving & decision making are fairly similar. In fact, the terms are used interchangeably.

Most models of problem solving and decision making include at least four phases (e.g., Bransford & Stein, Dewey, &Polya):

1) An Input phase in which a problem is supposed & an attempt is made to understand the situation or problem

2) A Processing phase in which substitutes are generated & evaluated & a solution is selected

3) An Output phase which comprise planning for & implementing the solution

4) A Review phase in which the solution is evaluated & modifications are made. Most researchers describe the problem-solving & decision-making process as beginning with the perception of a gap & ending with the implementation & evaluation of a solution to fill that gap.

Each phase of the process includes specific steps to be completed before moving to the next phase.


Consideration of Individual Differences

Even though there are a various ways to consider individual differences relative to problem solving & decision making, this paper will focus on personality type & temperament as measured by the MBTI.

Personality Type and Problem Solving

Researchers have explored the relationship of Jung’s theory of individuals’ preferences & their approach to problem solving & decision making. The following is a précis of their findings.

When solving problems, individuals prefer quietness will want to take time to think & elucidate their ideas before they begin chatting, while those preferring extraversion will want to talk all the way through their ideas in order to make clear them. adding up, Is will more likely be concerned with their own understanding of significant concepts & ideas, while Es will repeatedly seek feedback from the environment about the feasibility of their ideas.

Sensing individuals will be more probably to pay attention to evidence, details & reality. They will also be inclined to choose standard solutions that have worked in the past. On the other hand, Persons with instinct preferences will more probably attend to the meaningfulness of the evidence, the relationships among the evidences & the possibilities of future events that can be illusory from these facts. They will display a tendency to develop original solutions somewhat than to use what has worked previously.

Individuals with a thinking preference will be inclined to use logic & analysis during problem solving. They are also probably to value objectivity & to be unfriendly in drawing conclusions. They will want solutions to make sense in terms of the evidence, models, and principles under deliberation. By contrast, individuals with a feeling preference are more probably to consider values & feelings in the problem-solving process. They will be inclined to be subjective in their decision making & to consider how their decisions could influence other people.

The final dimension to be measured describes an individual’s first choice for either judging (using T or F) or perceiving (using S or N). Js prefer structure & organization and will want the problem-solving process to show closure. Ps prefer flexibility & adaptability. They will be more concerned that the problem-solving process considers a variety of techniques & provides for unforeseen change.

As a demonstration of how personality type can influence problem solving, McCauley describes the problem-solving characteristics of two of the 16 MBTI types, ISTJ & ENFP.

In problem solving, ISTJ will want a clear idea of the problem (I) & attack it by looking for the facts (S) & by relying on a logical, impersonal (T), step-by-step approach in reaching conclusions. In contrast, ENFP will chuck out all sorts of possibilities (N), seeking feedback from the surroundings to clarify the problem (E). Brainstorming (NP) will be enjoyed. The human aspects of the problem (F) are probably emphasized over impersonal, technical issues (T). To the ISTJ, the ENFP approach is probably seem illogical or scattered. To the ENFP, the ISTJ approach is probably seem slow & unimaginative.


Kersey & Bates (1978) provide an additional view of Jung’s theory. They focus on four temperaments similar in many ways to those described in prehistoric times by Hippocrates & in the early 20th century by psychologists such as Adickes, Kretschmer & Spranger. These temperaments can be helpful in discussing individual differences related to problem solving & decision making since they are linked with fundamental differences in course to problem solving & goals to be addressed.

The first dimension measured in temperament is the one connected to differences in the perceptual processes used in assembling information–the S-N dimension. Kiersey & Bates argue that S-N is the most elementary dimension as all other dimensions depend on the type of most preferred information. The concrete-abstract dimension in Kolb’s theory of learning style supports this proposal.

For individuals with a sensing inclination, the second dimension to be considered (J-P) relates to the use of data–should they be organized & planned or should additional data be gathered. For Ns, the second dimension (T-F) relates to the assessment of data by logic & reason or by values & impact on people. So, the four temperaments are NF, SJ, SP, & NT.

The SP temperament is oriented to realism in a playful & flexible manner. The goal of the SP is action, & the SP’s time reference is the present. The SP wants to take some instant action using an iterative approach to attain the end result. The SP’s definition of the problem is probably to alter in the process of solving it. Individuals of this outlook are not probably bound by original perceptions & want the freedom to change their perceptions based on new information. Occasionally lack of a logical plan of action diverts the SP from the original problem.

An individual of the SJ temperament is oriented to realism in an organized manner, strives to be communally useful, & performs conventional duties within a structured framework. SJs are detail conscious, are able to foresee outcomes, & prefer evolutionary rather than revolutionary change. SJs need help in categorizing details into meaningful patterns & generating non-standard alternatives.

The NT temperament approaches problem solving scientifically & is future oriented. NTs are probably to be interested in the principles governing a situation. The narrow problem-solving & decision-making process described by researchers is oriented to the NT temperament. NTs tend to overlook important facts & details & need help bearing in mind the impact of solutions on people.

The NF temperament seeks self-discovery, which appears to be a circular goal & is oriented to the future in terms of human possibilities. When occupied in the problem solving process, NFs may rely on internal substitutes often interpreted as not stranded in reality or logic. They are often concerned with the reliability of solutions & struggle to enhance personal development. NFs need help attending to details & focusing on formulated solutions.

Problem-Solving Techniques

It is not sufficient to explain a problem solving process & to explain how individuals are different in their approach to or use of it. It is also essential to recognize specific techniques of attending to individual differences. Luckily, a diversity of problem solving techniques has been recognized to accommodate individual preferences. A number of these techniques are oriented more to NT & SJ individuals who tend to be more linear & serial, more rational & logical, & more goals oriented in their approach to problem solving. Other techniques are more suited to NF & SP individuals who display a favouritism for an approach that is more holistic & parallel, more visual, more emotional & intuitive, more creative & more tactual. It is significant that techniques from both categories be selected & used in the problem solving process. Duemler & Mayer found that when students used wholly either indication during problem solving, they be liable to be less victorious than if they used a rational amount of both processes.

The following techniques focus on logic & critical thinking, especially within the framework of applying the scientific approach:

A. Analysis–the identification of the components of a situation & consideration of the relationships among the parts.

B. Backwards planning–a goal selection process where mid-range & short-term conditions essential to obtain the goal are recognized, this technique is connected to the more general technique of means-ends study described by Newell & Simon.

C. Categorizing– the process of recognizing & choosing rules to group events, people, objects, ideas etc.

D. Challenging assumptions–the direct confrontation of opinions, attitudes or ideas.

E. Evaluating/judging–comparison to a standard & making a qualitative or quantitative judgment.

F. Inductive/deductive reasoning–the systematic & logical development of rules from specific instances based on a general principle using the generalization & inference.

G. Thinking aloud–the process of expressing about a problem & its solution while a partner listens in detail for errors in understanding.

H. Network analysis–a systems approach to project planning & management where relationships among resources, activities, events & timelines are developed & charted.

I.  Task analysis–the deliberation of skills & knowledge required to study or carry out a specific task.

The following problem-solving techniques focus more on divergent, creative or lateral thinking:

A. Brainstorming–attempt to impulsively produce as many ideas on a subject as possible; ideas are not analysed during the brainstorming process; participants are encouraged to form new ideas.

B. Imaging/visualization–produce mental pictures of the problem.

C. Incubation–putting aside the problem & doing something else to allow the mind to automatically consider the problem.

D. Outcome psychodrama–enacting a scenario of alternatives through role playing.

E. Outrageous provocation–make a statement that is known to be absolutely incorrect & then considering it to be used as a bridge for a new idea.

F. Overload–considering a large number of evidences & details until the logic part of the brain becomes plagued & begins looking for patterns.

G. Random word technique–selecting a word randomly from the dictionary & put together with problem statement, then brainstorming about possible relationships.

H. Synthesizing—combine elements into a new pattern.

I.  Taking another’s perspective–deliberately take another person’s point of view.

J. Values clarification–use techniques such as simulations, role-playing, self-analysis exercises & structured controversy to gain a greater understanding of attitudes & beliefs that individuals hold important.

Integrate Techniques into the Problem Solving Process

The problem-solving techniques discussed above are mainly powerful when joint to make active both the rational & creative parts of the brain. The following tale will offer an example of how these techniques can be used at precise points in the problem solving process to deal with significant individual differences. The techniques will be presented surrounded by the context of a group problem solving situation but are evenly applicable to an individual situation. The terms in parentheses refer to character dimensions to which the technique would plea.

The Input Phase

The objective of the Input phase is to expand a clear understanding of the situation.

FIRST STEP: The first step is to discover the problem & state it clearly & in brief. Identifying the problem means recitation as accurately as possible the gap between one’s insight of present situation & what one would akin to happen. Problem identification is essential to communicate to one’s self & others the focus of the problem-solving & decision-making process. According to Arnold there are four types of gaps:

1) Something is wrong & needs to be corrected

2) Something is bullying & needs to be prevented

3) Something is appealing & needs to be accepted

4) Something is missing & needs to be provided.

Tunnel vision represents the major complexity in problem identification as it leads to unnaturally restricting the search for alternatives.

Brainstorming is an outstanding technique to commence the problem-solving process. Independently, participants quickly write possible solutions, share these alternatives as a collection in a non-judgmental fashion & continue to brainstorm. Participants then categorize, classify & prioritize problems, forming a ladder of the most important to the least important.

SECOND STEP: The second step of the Input phase is to state the criterion that will be used to assess possible alternatives to the problem as well as the efficiency of certain solutions. During this step it is vital to state any recognized boundaries of suitable alternatives, important ethics or opinions to be considered, or results that should be avoided. Adding up, criterion should be categorized as either vital for a successful solution or simply desired.

Brainstorming can also be used throughout this second step. Participants rapidly write probable criteria for use in evaluating alternatives. These factors normally fall into the following categories:

1) Important personal feelings, attitudes & values to be considered

2) Important feelings, attitudes & values to be considered in situation of the work group, community, society, organization etc.

3) Practical factors that is related to how substitute should work

4) Factors that rationally flow from the statement of the problem, relevant evidence, or how the solution should fit into the larger context.

Values clarification techniques can be very useful in generating criterion related to values feelings, attitudes & values. Role-playing & simulations are particularly appreciated by SPs &SJs, who usually take a more realistic approach to problem solving. Self-analysis exercises & structured controversy are more probably to appeal to NFs & NTs, who focus on principles & abstractions. Adding up, the use of both deductive & inductive reasoning can be significant in generating criterion. For example: rationally generating criterion from the problem statement would use deductive reasoning, whereas combining several different feelings or values to form criterion would use inductive reasoning.

After criteria are produced they are then joint in a non-judgmental manner using procedures suggested in values clarification strategies. Important criteria are located into different categories, & an initial selection is made. Certain criteria are then evaluated in terms of their rationality given the problem statement. Of course, this criterion can be customized based on important evidences identified in the next step.

THIRD STEP: The third step is to collect information applicable to solve the problem or make a decision. This step is significant for understanding the preliminary conditions & for further explanation of the apparent gap. Most researchers consider that the quality of facts is more vital than the quantity. Beinstock noted that accumulating too much information can actually puzzle the situation rather than clarify it.

The brainstorming technique could once more be used in this step. As done before, participants fast write that evidence they believe to be important & then share them in a non-judgmental fashion. These facts are classified & categorized, and relationships and meaningfulness are stabilised. The techniques of imaging & overload can be used to set up patterns & relationships along with the facts. The facts are analyzed in conditions of the problem statement & criteria, & non-pertinent facts are eliminated.  The left over facts & associated patterns are then prioritized & additional facts collected as necessary.

The Processing Phase

In this phase, the job is to develop, evaluate & select substitute and solutions that can solve the problem.

FIRST STEP:  The first step in this phase is to develop different or possible solutions. Most researchers focus on the need to make substitute over the whole range of adequate options as recognized in the preceding phase. This age group should be free, open & indifferent about viability. Sufficient time should be spent on this activity to make sure that non-standard & imaginative alternatives are generated.

Again, brainstorming is a method that can be used first. Participants rapidly write substitutes using the system of brainstorming, then share the results in a lenient way & build up additional substitutes. A number of the techniques mentioned over such as imaging, challenging assumptions, outrageous provocation , outcome psychodrama, the random word technique, & taking another’s viewpoint can be used at this point to produce more creative substitutes. Those substitutes clearly worthless of further deliberation are eliminated. It is possible to classify substitutes & consider them as a group, but care should be taken not to construct the categories too complex. If the person or group is not satisfied with the quantity or quality of the substitutes under deliberation, a brief use of the progressive relaxation technique may be helpful as well as the application of another creative technique. If dissatisfaction still leftovers, putting to the side the problem may be helpful.

SECOND STEP: The next step is to assess the generated substitutes vis-a-vis the fixed criteria. Advantages, disadvantages & interesting feature for each substitute are written individually, then shared & discussed as a group. Most researchers advocate written assessment, if only in the form of individual notes. After neglecting substitutes that are clearly exterior of the bounds of the formerly stated criteria, both advantages & disadvantages should be measured in more detail. An examination of relationships among substitutes should be completed & reflection should be given to the relative importance of advantages & disadvantages. Only those substitutes the majority considers pertinent & correct are considered further.

THIRD STEP: The third step of the processing phase is to build up a solution that will fruitfully solve the problem. For moderately simple problems, one alternative may be clearly superior. Though, in complex situations a number of substitutes may probably be combined to form an effective solution. A major benefit of this process is that if earlier steps have been done well then choosing a solution is less complicated.

Before leaving this phase it is important to spot possible problems with the solution & inference of these problems. When developing a solution it is important to consider the most dreadful that can happen if the solution is implemented. Adding up, the solution should be evaluated in terms of overall feelings. That is, does the substitute match important values as previously stated?

The Output Phase

During the Output phase, a plan is developed & the solution is implemented. The plan must be adequately detailed to permit for successful implementation & methods of assessment must be measured & developed. When developing a plan, the major phases of implementation are considered first & then steps essential for each phase are produced. It is helpful to construct a timeline & make an illustration of the most significant steps in the implementation using a method such as network analysis. At this point, backwards planning & task analysis are also useful techniques. The plan is then implemented as carefully as possible, following the steps as they have been developed & making slight modifications as suitable.

The Review Phase

The next step is evaluating functioning of the solution & it should be an ongoing process. Some willpower as to wholeness of functioning needs to be considered previous to evaluate the efficiency. This step is often omitted and is one reason why the problem-solving/decision-making process sometimes fails: the solution that has been selected is simply not implemented effectively. Though, if the solution is not implemented then assessment of efficiency is not probably to be valid.

The second step of this phase is assessing the efficiency of the solution. It is mainly significant to evaluate outcomes in light of the problem statement produced at the commencement of the process. Behavioural, affective, cognitive & outcomes should be measured, particularly if they have been recognized as important criteria. The solution should be reviewed as to its efficiency, its impact on the people involved, & the degree to which it is appreciated by the participants.

The final step in the process is modifying the solution in ways suggested by the assessment process. Assessment of the solution functioning & outcomes usually presents additional problems to be considered & addressed. Issues acknowledged in terms of both efficiency & effectiveness of implementation should be addressed.

Table 1 lists significant aspects of personality when taking into consideration attention to individual differences during problem solving & decision making. Each feature of personality has a different orientation to problem solving, different criteria for judging the efficiency of the process & selected substitutes as well as different favoured techniques & strengths. These differences must be measured by both individuals & groups if effective solutions are to be generated & implemented.


Table 1. Aspects of personality important for problem solving and decision making

MBTI Dimension
Criteria for Judging Effectiveness
Outside world of people and things
Can “talk through” problem in group

Works in “real world”

Thinking aloud

Outcome psychodrama
Attend to external reality

Listen to others
Inner world of ideas
Internal logic, value of ideas

Want to reflect on problem
Brainstorming privately

Attend to internal consistency of solutions
Facts and details from past and present
Personal experience

Practicality of solutions

Conforms to standards
Share personal values, ideas facts,


Inductive reasoning

Random word technique
Attend to details

What could go wrong

Develop and implement specific steps of solution
Concepts and principles

Possibilities for future
Meaningfulness of facts, details

Solutions consider total situation

Prospect for originality
Classify, categorize,

Deductive reasoning

Challenge assumptions

Imaging/ visualization

See connections and links

Develop complex solutions

Implications of improper solution(s)

Develop major phases

Logic and reason
Solutions make sense based on facts, models, and/or principles
Classify, categorize


Network analysis

Task analysis
Attend to internal and external consistencies

Evaluate for efficiency & effectiveness

Values and affect
Solutions consider impact on people
Share personal values Listen to others’ values

Values clarification
Evaluate for impact on people

Evaluate in terms of valued by participants
Organization Structure and closure
Decisions are made Solution can be


A step-by-step

procedure to follow

PMI technique

Backward planning

Select single solution
Identify possible defects

Follow steps during


Evaluate for effectiveness and efficiency
Data gathering Processing solutions
Solutions are flexible and adaptable

Enough information provided in solution

Variety of alternatives considered

Random word technique

Outrageous provocation

Taking another’s perspective
Develop complex solutions

Considering Temperament

If the mainstream of the group is composed of a single temperament, the basic procedure can be customized to take benefit of the leading attitudes. For example: if the mainstream of the group is composed of SPs, it is often practical to cut down the information collection & alternatives evaluation steps & move moderately quickly to an iterative process of recognizing a suitable solution throughout action. This recognition might be done by means of psychodrama, constructing simple models & trying out other substitutes. The whole group might brainstorm about the statement of the problem, relevant facts & criterion then form a subcommittee to conduct a more methodical analysis. Results could then be submitted to the whole group for deliberation & alternatives could be generated and evaluated. The subcommittee could then take the substitutes, build up a solution & work out execution details.

If the group includes a majority of SJs, care should be taken to go on in a step-by- step with plenty of time for deliberation of all details at each step. The group leader should constantly remind participants of where they are in the whole process since SJs from time to time focus too extremely on details & lose view of the broader goal. During the substitutes generation phase, the group leader must be able to to use any technique for generating imaginative options since SJs are probably to select a conventional, well-known solution rather than invent something new. Most significantly, the process must result in a cautious, thorough plan of action that participants can follow to solve the problem. Following a step-by-step process is the power of the SJs, & an appropriately developed solution is probably to be accurately implemented.

If the group is collected mainly of NTs, the group leader should be equipped to pay out as much time as possible developing a model of the problem & its related elements. It is significant that group members have an ordinary illustration of the problem as this illustration will guide the development & selection of substitutes. Careful deliberation must be given to collection & discussion of all significant details & facts as NTs are probably to consider the meaningfulness of the evidences & details & often ignore those that disagree with their representations. Finally, care must be given to carefully analyze any option in terms of its impact on people. Deliberation of others’ viewpoint in terms of values & feelings is often difficult for NTs since they tend to view the world in such a logical manner.

When the group is collected mainly of NFs, it will obviously focus on selecting substitutes that take full advantage of possibilities in people. The same cautious attention to evidences & details essential for NTs is also suitable for NFs since NFs also focus on the meaning of evidences & details within their symbol of the problem. Focusing on evidences & details is also advantageous since it more probably results in solutions that can be practically implemented. NFs are the sample idealists & sometimes want to select hypothetically possible substitutes that are difficult to put into practice given existing conditions. A process for monitoring functioning of the solution is also significant since NFs sometimes do not pay attention to the details of managing the change process.

Table 2 presents facet of temperament significant for problem solving & decision making. Each temperament has different elements & chosen processes & techniques as well as different requirements or weaknesses. If deliberation is given these differences, it increases the probability of individual satisfaction with the process & implementation of selected substitutes. Implemented solutions will more probably be efficient since they have been measured from all viewpoints.

Table 2. Aspects of temperament important for problem solving and decision making

Important Elements
Preferred Processes & Techniques
Need Help
Take Action
Oriented to present

Adaptable, flexible, reality-oriented

Value own experiences

Flexible process for defining and solving
Iterative approach to process


Role playing

Subcommittees to work out details and step-by-step plan
Coherence of plan

Following selected solution
Follow Tradition

Fulfil Duty
Oriented to past, present

Loyal, helpful, useful to social units

Value evolutionary change
Prefer going step-by-step

Prefer known solutions that work

Task analysis

Categorizing and classifying

Generating creative alternatives
Understand, control, and explain reality

Acquisition of competencies
Use of logic and reason

Oriented to future

Logical correctness of principles and concepts
Model development

Challenging assumptions

Structured controversy

Model development
Attending to facts and details

Looking at impact on people

Oriented to future

Possibilities for people

Value intuition and inspiration

Values clarification
Attending to facts and details

Developing realistic alternatives

Carefully monitor implementation
Summary and Conclusions

In general, there is a need to develop & use a problem solving and decision making process that is both technical & thoughtful of individual differences & viewpoints. While the technical process has provided a process used productively in an extensive range of situations, researchers have explained individual differences that can influence viewpoint & objective related to problem solving. These differences can be used to spot suitable problem solving techniques used in every step of the problem solving process.

The process explained in this paper allows individuals to use a benchmark method in a diversity of situations & to get a feel for it to meet individual preferences. The same procedure can be used in group situations to satisfy the unique viewpoint of individual members. Decisions made in this manner are more probably to be efficient since individuals can knowingly attend to both personal strengths & weaknesses, while groups are more probably to choose solutions that will both solve the problem & be suitable to individual group members.

The model & the outlined techniques, plea to individuals differently. Both extroverts & introverts value the process because it continuously allows them to make use of strength. Sensing types value the organization of information into controllable parts, & intuitive like having a model & an expression of the relationships among parts. Intuitive also be thankful for having aid in generating & analyzing particulars. Feeling types is grateful for the built-in steps for bearing in mind values & affect, but often have the most complexity with the process. SFs from time to time become puzzled or overwhelmed with the amount of information generated & simply want to focus on what they like or do not like, while NFs think it is stupid to be so logical when the correct answer is clear & can be determined more easily. Perceiving types like the process because it allows for systematic generation & deliberation of a range of alternatives, even though strong perceiving types from time to time dislike the structure forced on the problem solving process. Judging types like the organization & structure of the process, even though strong judging types now and then become intolerant with the length of the process. Care has to be taken to provide these individuals with adequate training so that their personal experiences authenticate the process.


The benefits of the process can be measured in three major categories:

a)      General:  The primary benefit of using this process is that it is an efficient way of supervising changes. Because fast & random change is the norm today, it is significant that adequate resources be accessible to manage it. Adding up, the process can be used by individuals & organizations to solve an extensive variety of problems. Since there is constant variety in the types of problems to be solved, it is significant to have a generalizable & flexible process to resolve them. If it were essential to have an exclusive problem solving technique for each problem, it would be easy to be rapidly besieged before even getting started. While it may be not possible to have a single process that is valid to all problems or decisions by all individuals, it is significant to have a generalizable & flexible process that individuals consider fits with their sole styles & that can be used to take advantage of on strengths & support weaknesses.


A second general advantage is that the procedure provides for the generation of both objective & subjective criteria used to select & evaluate substitutes. That is, reason & logic are unbiased by creativity & deviation throughout the process. Duemler & Mayer confirmed that when individuals used both types of techniques they were more successful in their problem solving. This provides the individual & group with improved confidence that a correct decision is being made even if attainment of that decision requires extra time. A related benefit is that use of the process allows decision maker to better sell the certain solutions to superiors and to subordinates since the significant individual differences probably to be appreciated by these individuals have already been measured. In addition, the process has a built-in step to consider what could go incorrect if particular solutions are selected. Though, this step is taken only after imaginative & an original substitute have been measured & does not limit substitutes to those already proven successful.


b)     Work group or organization: One of the main benefits with this process in an organization is that it allows folks within the group to appreciate the problem carefully before allowing for alternatives. Sometimes, problem solving discussions focus on the discussion of preselected substitutes. At the commencement of the discussion, participants select positions as to which substitute is better. The result is a partition into camps of winners & losers. Use of this process takes energy usually spent on quarrelling for a specific solution & rechannels that energy into a group search for a suitable solution.


An associated benefit is that a systematic discussion previous to consider alternatives can in fact make problem solving less complex & successful results more probably to be achieved. Relatively often group discussion is not about solutions, but about supposition of criteria, significant values and facts that remain unspecified throughout the consideration. By obviously stating these before solutions are discussed, the actual selection of substitutes is often easier. Commonly a lack of cautious analysis by groups attempting to solve a problem leads to select a solution on some criterion other than “does it solve the problem.” from point in time a situation of “group think” occurs where one substitute is presented & everyone simply agrees that it is best without significant analysis. This can guide the organization to make decisions based on power relationships, on affiliations, or on some basis other than accomplishment of goals.

Finally, use of a problem solving process enhances the growth of unity within the organization. If everybody is using the similar procedure of problem solving, then unity is much easier to achieve. Combined action generally produces better results than non unified action. If the certain solution is wrong, then problems can be recognized quickly & corrections can be made. On the other way, if all contestants are not working toward an ordinary goal or if some members are in fact trying to work alongside group goals, then energy that should be fixed on solving the problem is dissolute; the proper solution may not be recognized for some time.


c)      Individual. One of the primary benefits to individuals in using this process is that the strengths & weaknesses of the individual can be recognized & used when making a decision. Everyone has strong & weak points that result from preferences in how a problem is viewed or measured. Cautious selection & application of techniques reviewed in this paper raise the probability that individuals will improve their strengths & concentrate on issues they would otherwise skip or attend to less well.

When participating in the problem solving process in a group, two extra advantages occur. First, individuals can learn to value substitute preferences by bearing in mind differences in others as strengths rather than as of less value. It is only usual that we consider our own approaches as more correct than other approaches. Though, as is obvious by the over discussion of the steps in problem solving, all preferences & a diversity of techniques must be used if the best solutions are to be developed & implemented. In this age of rapid change, it is very important that we consider all preferences, whether described in traits or otherwise, as being equally suitable & valuable.

In addition, the growth of an individual’s decision making powers can be improved by advancing through the procedure with others in a group situation. Whimby & Lochhead have demonstrated that expressing one’s thinking process while someone else listens & analysis that process is one of the most precious ways to improve problem solving & decision making. When individuals are active & participate in a group based, problem-solving process, it can guide to the growth of the skills required to make better autonomous decisions.


Importance of a Knowledge Base and Critical Thinking Skills

It is usually accepted that at least 3 elements are requisite for problem solving & decision making:

a)      a knowledge base

b)      an adequate level of thinking & communication skills

c)       An organized approach to solve problems.

While this paper has summarized the 3rd element, it is significant to understand that insufficient development of the other two areas will probably result in less than sufficient problem solving performance. A knowledge base is sole to every problem & no general statements are probably to be appropriate other than the individual or group must understand the principles, concepts, and facts related to the exact situation & be able to relate them. On the other hand, many researchers have studied the importance of thinking & communication skills as the base for problem solving & decision making & have described many attempts to improve them. Without growth of these skills, successful implementation of the process discussed in this paper becomes more difficult.

You make decisions daily, most probably using one of these strategies. In a business, the board of directors regularly makes strategic decisions concerning the future of the company but decision-making takes place at every level. Decisions involve a high amount of imprecision & danger, but a good system can help lessen that risk. “Decision making can be affected not only by sensible judgment, but also by non sensible factors, such as the personality of the decision maker, the organizational situation & others,” reports Reference for Business website.

The main types of business decisions are:

a)       Programmed: they are also called as routine decisions. They have specific method that anyone can follow.

b)      Non-programmed: those decisions that is different from any standard decision.

c)      Strategic: Decisions that affect the long term strategy & goals of the business are called strategic decisions.

d)      Tactical: they focus on medium-term goals that thrust towards long-term strategic goals.

e)       Operational: they are also called as administrative decisions. They are shorter term decisions that construct toward the long term goals.

Intuitive Analysis
Reference for Business news that “Entrepreneurs are well-known for creating ‘seat-of-the-pants’ decisions, which means they craft rapid decisions based on a gut feeling.” Many times, we make decisions lacking all the essential data; we have to trust your intuition. Intuitive decision making can be hazardous, so be careful & try to get large amount information as possible.

Systematic Analysis
You do not have to give up analysis & information to make decisions rapidly. Systematic analysis involves collecting as much information as possible & analyzing it in a well-organized & reasonable way to find the best option. “Managers can arrange themselves for making quick decisions by practicing pre decision making,” reports Reference for Business website. Your analysis & intuition may not match. If the investigation seems wrong, keep searching until all the results make sense.

Principle Based Decision Making
Principled decision-making relies on personal beliefs & principles such as ethics. Unlike ethical decision making, the principles used may lead to immoral outcomes. The two step process begins with selection & communication of principles to use & ends with the application of those main beliefs to the situation at hand. Company mission statements & goals often provide principles that lead decision making. According to Reference for Business, “Such principles, when used in decision making, can help the organization better handle with changes over time: shifts in leaders, fluctuating leadership styles & changing market conditions.”

Strategic Decision Making
Strategic decisions are major decisions that are concerned with the direction of the company as a whole. These include strategic alliances, mergers, and new products; usually handled by the president, CEO, or board of directors of the company. According to Reference for Business, “Companies are being forced to compete on the edge … top management is occupied in creating a progressing flow of temporary & shifting competitive advantages relative to other competitors & the market being served.”

When we are aware of the essential elements of putting into practice a business strategy, we can make sure your employees carry out all the activities it requires. Promising strategies often fail because their implementation does not include all the necessary elements. An effective strategy implementation means the success of the strategy depends on its quality rather than on how well we implemented it.

For a victorious strategy implementation, we have to make sure your strategy matches the type of organization your business uses. A strategy that requires quick act at the working level & decisions by working level employees needs an organizational structure that pass on authority. A strategy that relies on tight control from the upper management levels works best in a hierarchical structure with centralized power. We have to regulate the strategy to match the organizational structure of your business.

Implementing the strategy that requires a series of activities that result in your company meeting your targets & achieving overall goals. To abridge working with the strategy, we have to recognize the individual tasks that make up every activity, place them in the accurate sequence & organize them in a schedule. This plan forms the base for your functioning & for further monitoring & control.

When we have finished your implementation plan, we can commence assigning employees to the individual tasks. Some tasks need additional resources, such as, promotional materials, software & money to cover special expenses. We must make sure that we have the essential number of people on your team to carry out all the tasks & enough other resources for a whole strategy implementation.

Once the team is in its place & we have allocated their tasks, we have to converse the details of the strategy & how we map to implement it. Procedures, written descriptions, drawings & images & can serve as a foundation for team meetings to respond questions, re-examine progress & find solutions to problems. Online association tools such as those originate in office productivity software can help promote a supportive working relationship in the midst of team members.

While team is working to put into practice the strategy, your focus moves from initiating to monitoring. We have to make sure work is on track & on agenda according to the planning credentials. When tasks are late, we can shift work around by making changes to the plan.

Strategic management involves making decisions, implementing these decisions, planning & evaluating their impact on the objectives of the organization. Small businesses face a variety of challenges all through the functioning of decisions due to factors such as insufficient technology, government regulations & employee diversity. Determining the factors that influence decision implementation involving employees & stakeholders in the process. It also involves identifying barriers to implement by asking the right questions.

Step 1

Seek the views of stakeholders toward the functioning of a decision. Note that stakeholders such as the board of directors, shareholders & senior management may want some issues concerning finances & legal questions clarified before implementation of decisions.

Step 2

Include employees in the decision making process up awaiting the decision implementation phase. Present the employees with the strategy that is to be implemented & allow them sufficient time to provide comment. Take into deliberation that employee feedback will assist us in formative which factors they view as helping in decision implementation.

Step 3

Recognize any industry standards, government policies or economic conditions that directly or indirectly affect the decision at hand. Be cognizant of the piece of information that organizations must make & put into practice decisions within a background that includes industry standards, regulations, social conditions &external economic.

Step 4

Enquire the right question to the right people. Be sure to discuss with departmental managers & technical experts. Use a method such as the “Five Whys Technique” to help in asking the right questions.

Step 5

Work backwards. Ask why the decision implementation process is facing obstacle or why it is suitable to undertake a certain option not another. And follow up with more questions.  For example, the answer to “Why are we not able to come to an agreement?”, “Why is the strategy unclear?”.