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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).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.
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.
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, storage, retrieval, etc.).
Researchers have studied the relationship between personality characteristics and problem-solving strategies (e.g., Heppner, Neal, & Larson, 1984; Hopper & Kirschenbaum, 1985; Myers, 1980), with Jung's (1971) theory on psychological type serving as the basis for much of this work, especially as measured by the MBTI (Myers & Mc Caulley, 1985).
They will exhibit a tendency to develop new, original solutions rather than to use what has worked previously.
Individuals with a thinking preference will tend to use logic and analysis during problem solving.
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.
They are also likely to value objectivity and to be impersonal in drawing conclusions.
They will want solutions to make sense in terms of the facts, models, and/or principles under consideration.