This paper seeks to develop an understanding of the process of decision making from the point of view of thinking styles. It illustrates two main styles of thinking that are commonly applied by individuals while making choices and selecting options. The research concentrates mainly on convergent, divergent, and emotional thinking styles. It considers the salient features of the styles and highlights how they influence decision making. One conclusion that has been drawn from the discussion is that the thinking styles play an important role in the process of decision making since decisions are mainly considered to be a product of the thinking.
Decision making is a cognitive process that leads one to selection of an option or a course of action from several available alternative scenarios. Every choice selected is the product of a decision. This does not necessarily have to be a course of action but it can also be an opinion. In the process of decision making, every individual is required to apply a thinking style. Normally people tend to think differently about one particular situation. This means that two random individuals are likely to make different decisions regarding one situation. Researchers have expressed a lot of interest in understanding how humans perform in decision making. From a psychological point of view, decision making is examined from the angle of the values that people seek, preferences they have, and their set of needs. Decision making process can also be examined from the cognitive point of view where the process is mainly regarded to be continuous and forms a significant part of people’s interaction with the environment. The other perspective mainly focused by researcher is the normative perspective which concerns logic and rationality aspects of decision making. This report highlights on thinking styles in order to develop a deep understanding into the process of decision making.
There are two primary thinking styles identified to assist in understanding the process of decision making. The first is divergent and convergent thinking styles while the second is emotional thinking style. Divergent thinking style involves determining numerous options for solving a problem. This means that one can chose from any of the options identified to make a decision. On the contrary, convergent way of thinking involves coming up with the best option from a number of options. After identifying possible options one zeros in to the best choice for problem solving and decision making. The second style of thinking, emotional feeling, suggests that people’s emotions tend to influence come in between situations and the decisions they make in regards to the situations.
Some of the salient features of convergent styles of thinking include active experimentation and abstract conceptualization. The people who commonly apply this way of thinking in their decision making process tend to be more technical. They would use well structured theories in decision making to be able to formulate ideas and think of solutions to their problems. Moreover, the people who use the convergent thinking style do not deal with interpersonal relations issues and social issues in making decisions.
On the other hand, some of the salient features of divergent thinking style is reflective supervision and concrete experience. People who tend to use divergent thinking style have the ability to see contradictory mixed situations. Situation that require a lot of new ideas to be generated are perfect for use of divergent thinking styles. The style further requires combination of both creativity and problem solving. In order to achieve this connection, then one has to be able to search or “brain storm” all the possible ways of approaching and responding to a situation. The people who tend to use divergent thinking style in decision making are very confident in specific situations especially those that involve working in a group that is diverse both in terms of the participants and the opinions provided.
Dividing thinking into divergent and convergent is important in understanding how individuals tend to make decisions. It is also used in identifying the intelligence of a certain individuals when considering them for particular positions. For instance, it is important that managers be very diverse in their thinking as well as be able to make well grounded decision. Therefore when considering an individual for a managerial position, establishing their thinking style is vital as it will determine whether they can make decisions or not. It is also noticeable that convergent thinking style is feasible for use in making decisions on practical issues while divergent thinking style is more practical on informative or theoretical problems. This means that convergent thinking style normally has more use than divergent style. People generally encounter a lot of situation where they have to be practical and not theoretical. However, both styles of thinking can be used in almost any social set up. People who conform to either of the styles also have distinctive characteristics that make them decide on certain issues in their lives. For instance, since convergent thinkers tend to make decisions much faster, they generally know what they want tin life and they would focus their whole attention on that particular thing. On the other hand, since divergent thinkers have a lot of options and ideas, they are generally people who easily adapt to situations and make efficient decisions.
When it comes to emotional thinking style, emotions are said to regularly interfere and change the way people think. Thinking cannot only be defined using logic and intelligence. The influence of emotions in the process of thinking and decision making has to be factored in. Human thoughts regularly conform to the feelings and tend to submit to the reign of blind feelings. It is common to find people entangled in a situation that presents pleasure and reality. Since feelings come strong in such situations, most individuals submit to their subjective feelings which result in choosing pleasure. However, a critical and objective look into the situation, one would be required to decide on reality. The arguments that lean towards individual desires are selected first.
Emotions have the potential to both stimulate and distort thinking. Either way, emotions affect the decision making process. Generally, people’s feelings would give in to their greatest passion, persistence, purposefulness, and intensity. It is not entirely possible to develop productive thoughts without linking them to feelings. In the same way it is impossible to have productive thoughts without linking them to logic, ability, skills, and knowledge. The point of concern in emotional thinking style is therefore is how strong the feelings are to disorient reasonable thinking.
The point where one is required to make decision to difficult problems, individuals tend to be overwhelmed with emotions. In such cases, the individuals are said to performing regulatory and heuristic functions of emotions. The heuristic aspect of emotions in the process of decision making involves selection of optimal search which lead to solving a problem. The regulatory aspect of emotion in the process of decision making involves having the ability to speed up the search of finding a solution to a problem. It can also slow down the search in case one is convinced that the search is erroneous. Once a solution is found, the individual would be emotionally active and this notes the stop of the search for a solution.
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