Cognitive style and decision-making

David P. Spicer, Bradford Management Centre, University of Bradford, UK

Eugene Sadler-Smith, University of Plymouth Business School, UK

A measure of cognitive style (the Cognitive Style Index, Allinson and Hayes, 1996) and a measure of decision-making style (the General Decision-Making Style instrument, Scott and Bruce, 1995) were administered to a sample of 236 business studies under-graduates in an attempt to explore the relationship between cognitive style and decision making style. A principal components analysis was generally successful in re-constructing the five hypothesised decision making style scales. Individuals with an 'analyst' cognitive style appeared to be more predisposed to rational decision making than were their 'intuitive' counterparts. Similarly, individuals with an 'intuitive' cognitive style appeared more predisposed to intuitive and spontaneous decision making than their 'analyst' counterparts. Dependence in decision making was exhibited by individuals with an 'analyst' style. There were no effects of gender upon decision making style, nor did gender and cognitive style interact in their effect upon decision making style. The findings were discussed in terms of the support they lent to the construct of 'intuition-analysis'.

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