Article On Problem Solving

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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.

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.

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.

Article On Problem Solving Business Essay Writing

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).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.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).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.Each phase of the process includes specific steps to be completed before moving to the next phase.These steps will be discussed in greater detail later in this paper.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.

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