Academic journal article Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology

Personality and Decision Making Styles of University Students

Academic journal article Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology

Personality and Decision Making Styles of University Students

Article excerpt

While solving or overcoming any problem, choosing one alternative over all the others is often crucial for any individual or a group to be successful. This act of choosing one alternative can be defined as decision making. Effective decision making skills and self confidence in decision making is important for any individual to overcome his/her problems (Deniz, 2011). An individual's personal values, desires, and lifestyle influences his/her decision making competence while working in a company. Hence, companies are looking for personalities who will make the best decision for them (BPS Resolver, 2012). The basic goal of this study was to determine the relationship between personality and decision making styles and to understand whether personality can predict decision making styles or not. Since this matter is less frequently explored and there aren't enough studies, exploring this relationship would be important in terms of contribution to the literature.

Janis and Mann (1977) proposed a conflict model of decision making. According to this model, making decisions may generate psychological stress. The excess or absence of this stress eventually become as a major determinant of the subjects failure to make a good decision. There are at least two sources from which this stress can stem: a concern about one's personal, social, and material losses that may incur by choosing any alternatives; and a concern for losing reputation and self esteem if a wrong decision is made. The way stress is managed in a potentially threatening situation can be conceptualized as a decision making style. Initially, three decision making patterns or behaviors were outlined by Janis and Mann (1976, 1977). These patterns are vigilance, defensive avoidance, and hypervigilance. Among these three, vigilance is the most effective decision making style. In a more recent study, a revise model comprising of four patterns-vigilance, hypervigilance, buck-passing, and procrastination were identified (Mann, Burnett, Radford, & Ford, 1997). Vigilant decision making style can be defined as, 'a methodological approach utilizing a number of discrete stages which link clearly defined objectives to a consideration of a range of options with the final decision emerging from a careful assessment of the ramifications of each decision alternative' (Brown, Abdallah, & Ng, 2011, p. 453). So, a vigilant decision maker needs to consider the goal or objective of the situation requiring a solution, collect information relating to the goal, outline strategies for reaching the goal, evaluates each of the strategies in terms of their pros and cons, and reach the decision effectively without any negative consequences. Hypervigilance is another kind of decision making which can be defined as, 'a style of decision making that is linked to substantial amounts of decision conflict or stress in the decision maker. The decision maker perceives that there is insufficient time or inadequate information to make a carefully considered decision and searches somewhat impulsively for a solution that will alleviate the stress and hopefully deal with the problem through this rather haphazard and impulsive approach' (Brown et al. p. 453-454). By using this style, the decision maker can remove the decision conflict in a short span of time. The third kind of decision making style is buckpassing. It is a way of avoiding any responsibility for making any decision by suggesting that it is others responsibility to make that decision. The decision maker easily eliminates the decision conflict by using this style. Usually this type of defensive to reaction can be evident in any large hidden bureaucracy. The fourth and the final kind of decision making styles is procrastination. It is an initial attempt to put off making any decision at all. Though there is some recognition of responsibility by the decision maker, he/she feels so overwhelmed by the decision process and eventually the decision is delayed or is not made at all. …

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