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The integrated process is applicable to a variety of individual and group situations.
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.
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).
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.
The purpose of this paper is to relate a model of the problem-solving process to a theory of personality type and temperaments in order to facilitate problem solving by focusing on important individual differences.
Specific techniques that can be used in the problem-solving/decision-making process to take advantage of these differences are also identified.
One conclusion that may be drawn from these investigations is that individual differences in problem solving 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.