Scott & Bruce - General Decision Making Style

The Structure of Concern Project compares many theoretical models from many disciplines to the Adizes PAEI model, arguing that they must all be reflecting the same underlying phenomenon. One concern structure model is described below.

The General Decision-Making Style test is a psychological instrument developed by Scott and Bruce for two reasons:

1) Their goal was to typify individual differences in decision-making habits and practices, in the domain of career development and vocational behavior studies.

2) The model also emerged inductively out of research plus reviews of the relevant literature, and was subsequently supported by further empirical studies and independent factor analyses. In a sense the model “suggested itself” (Scott & Bruce, 1995).

In their conception, decision-making style is a learned habitual response, resulting in “a habit-based propensity to react a certain way in a specific decision context.” It has been found that people use more than one decision-making style, but one is dominant.

The GDMS underwent a cycle or validation and revision, resulting in the following four decision-making styles:

P – Spontaneous: Sense of immediacy and persistent desire to always finalize decisions as quickly as possible.
A – Rational: comprehensive info search, explicit inventory of alternatives and logical evaluation of options.
E – Intuitive: Alerted by salient details in the flow of information rather than following systematic procedures, more reliance on implicit learning and tacit awareness (“hunches” or “feelings”) as a basis for decisions.
I – Dependent: Resolves uncertainty through consultation, more interested in advice and guidance from others than other styles are.

1. Scott, S. G., & Bruce, R. A. (1995). “Decision-making style: the development and assessment of a new measure.” Educational and Psychological Measurement, 55(5), 818-831.
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