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Personality Type and the Use of Information in Decision Making: An Exploratory Study

Personality Type and the Use of Information in Decision Making: An Exploratory Study
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Author(s): Karen S. Nantz (Eastern Illinois University, USA) and Barbara E. Kemmerer (Eastern Illinois University, USA)
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 3
Source title: Information Technology & Organizations: Trends, Issues, Challenges & Solutions
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-066-0.ch107
ISBN13: 9781616921248
EISBN13: 9781466665330

Abstract

Cognitive style is the way that people process and analyze information and arrive at decisions. Simon defined cognitive style as the characteristic, self-consistent mode of functioning which individuals show in their perception and intellectual activities. (Simon, p. 72) Volkema and Gorman noted that cognitive style is used to describe differences in the ways that individuals gather and process data. (p. 106) A number of factors influence how people make decisions including the amount of information presented, the format of information, how information is gathered, and whether the decision will be group or individually-based. Early studies on cognitive style tended to characterize style as simple or complex, field dependent versus independent (Witkin et al, 1977), or analytic versus heuristic. As Ruble and Crozier (1990) point out, comparison of results was difficult since each represented different constructs. In addition, several studies have reported inconsistent results. Some systematic cognitive styles prefer more information while others prefer less (Rittenberg, 1973), Davis et al. (1987) tested if the format and design of data affected the ability of managers to make decisions. They concluded that managers with certain decision-making styles can make more effective decisions with one or more report designs. In recent years, cognitive style research has focused on the work of C.G. Jung through the interpretation by Isabelle Myers and Katherine Briggs. Jung theorized that the theory of psychology types could be understandable and useful in describing how individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment. (Myers et al., 1998) Myers and Briggs expanded Jung’s theory to create the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

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