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Counseling Psychology's view of decision making styles

Can you briefly describe three styles of decision-making ( chosen from the mentioned decision- making styles below ). In your answer, can you make sure to identify the theorist(s) or researcher(s) who proposed those constructs. The three decision-making styles you identify may or may not come from the same theory.

Personal knowledge of the topic is preferred instead of copies from internet resources or pages.

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Individuals differ in the way they approach important decisions in their life. Few people even think that effective strategies for decision-making can be learned and applied in everyday life. As you reflect on the various theories of counseling you have learned, you can notice that different theories provide different explanations of the psychological and contextual factors that determine an individual's decision-making style. For example, according to Erik Erikson's ego development theory, one key way to resolve the crisis presented by each of the eight stages is to have functional decision-making skills. Similarly, Carl Gustav Jung's theory of psychological types has been successfully applied to the study of adult decision-making processes. Huitt (1992) identified individual differences in problem solving and decision-making associated with the psychological type attitudes and functions: introversion, extraversion, sensing, intuition, thinking, feeling, judging and perceiving.

Both the psychodynamic and the behaviorist school of counseling would agree on the importance of the early family environment in shaping psychological development. In that sense, Elder (1963) studied the issue of parental decision-making styles and their effects on adolescents. Elder (1963) found out, not surprisingly, that adolescents of democratic and permissive parents evidenced higher levels of autonomy.

A number of researchers have focused their attention on the actual process of decision-making in order to arrive at a descriptive model or classification of decision-making styles and develop valid and reliable psychometric measures.

Janis and Mann (1977) presented an ideal set of procedural steps, called the synthesis process, that described the strategies necessary for an efficient decision-making process.

The work done by Harren (cited in Schvaneveldt & Adams, 1983, and Scott & Bruce, 1995) was very influential in the research on this topic. He identified three styles of decision-making: planning style, intuitive style, dependent style. Based on prior theorizing and on empirical research, Scott and Bruce (1995) developed the General Decision-Making Style (GDMS) instrument, a 25-item self-report measure of the "learned, habitual response pattern exhibited by an individual when confronted with a decision situation" (p. 820). The GDMS consists of five subscales measuring the following decision-making styles. The study by Scott and Bruce (1995) provides support for the reliability and validity of the GDMS and concludes that the measure can be used across contexts and decision situations.

Another measure of decision-making styles is the Decision-Making Inventory developed by Johnson, Coscarelli, and Johnson (1986). The measure has been shown useful in classifying an individual's preferred decision-making style into four categories, two dealing with the preferred information gathering style and the other two estimating an individual's preferred information analyzing style. Mann, et al. (1998) developed the Melbourne Decision Making Questionnaire (MDMQ), which consists of 28 items measuring four decision making coping strategies and the respondent's self esteem as a decision maker.

As you can notice from the brief definitions provided here, there is considerable conceptual overlap across various empirical measures with regard to the basic characteristics of decision-making styles. Undoubtedly, the study of decision-making processes is very important in counseling, as the activity of decision-making is a universal process. As Mann, et al. (1998) write, "despite apparent differences in complexity of decision problems across cultures, the core issues are essentially the same - fulfillment of human needs, protection of the individual, promoting group survival, and maintenance of community norms and standards" (p. 326). Through the counseling process, clients can increase their awareness of their preferred coping strategies when confronted with a choice situation and can learn to adopt more constructive and effective decision-making skills.

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