Decision Making Style
And Examples

Classes, types and styles

A huge variety of classifications of decision making style are available. While some of the classifications may be considered true classifications, others are more accurately a description of the decision making model being used. When you look at examples of decision making models this becomes more obvious.

It's also possible to take something such as a classification of cognitive style, such as the Myers Briggs model, and determine the impact of something such as this on decision making style.

And there are separate leadership styles, including collective participative decision making style and authoritative style.

A long list

One classification includes the following:
  • analytical
  • conceptual
  • impulsive
  • procrastinating
  • flexible
  • proactive
  • fatalistic
  • dependant
  • normative
  • behavioral

Many of these decision making styles are actually self-evident, impulsive, procrastinating, pro-active, and so on.

The fatalistic style is the attitude of 'whatever will be, will be'. There's little that can be done about it so we better get on and pick something.

Those using rational decision making models are obviously adopting an Analytical decision making style and examples of these rational models can be found here.

To decide or not to decide:

This is an interesting categorization of different types of decision making styles:
  • Agony
  • Impulse
  • Escape
  • Compliance
  • Play it Safe
  • Procrastination

Agony is where somebody agonizes over a particular decision. It is suggested that this is useful for very important decisions. Impulsive decisions are made with little or no consideration. The individual goes with their first reaction.

Escape is used to avoid actually making a decision or even to create a false choice so as not to have to make a decision. Compliance is to follow somebody else's instructions about what you should do. This is often a decision mistake in and of itself and it becomes very important in the domain of mind control.

Play it safe involves making the choice is the least amount of risk. And procrastination is, well, the procrastination decision making style.

The dependent category is where people allow others to make the decisions for them. (The Vroom-Jago decision making model is a rational model that offers guidance as to when a decision should be made by an individual alone or by a group, and makes suggestions about how much input should be given by each side.)

Someone who is in the flexible category has the ability to move between different categories and may do so based on the circumstances or situation.

Normative decision making is actually the study of how people should decide. Behavioral decision making is the study of how people actually decide.

Rather than decision making styles, this is much more a list of how people make a mess of things when they don't actually know how to make a decision!

A mixed bag

Another classification includes the following categories
  • Rational
  • Intuitive
  • Dependent
  • Avoidant
  • Spontaneous

I think the first two here, rational and intuitive, are much more a description of models than decision making style and examples of the others are given above or are self evident.

Overlay of styles

Myers Briggs developed a model which is used as a personality indicator. The four categories, or dichotomies, are extraversion/introversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling and judging/perceiving. Testing indicates whether an individual is an introvert/sensing/feeling/judging or extrovert/intuitive/feeling/perceiving and so on.

As well as extrapolating how individuals will function in groups or relationships based on their Myers Briggs category, it's also possible to predict their decision making style. And examples include a logical analytical style for someone who is the in the thinking/extrovert//sensing/judgment category. Whereas someone who is introverted/intuition/feeling/perceiving may procrastinate or be dependent in their decision making.

What works for you?

Many of the classifications of decision making style and examples are fairly accurate descriptions of what actually happens when people are attempting to make decisions. As I've already mentioned, it's frequently a description of how they actually avoid making decisions.

If what you really want is to learn a decision making model that works, then you can learn how you personally make good decisions with confidence.

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