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.
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).
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.
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.
The steps in both problem solving and decision making are quite similar.
In fact, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.