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Personality Differences in Decision Making under Stress

  • Irving Janis
Part of the Advances in the Study of Communication and Affect book series (ASCA, volume 6)

Abstract

When we examine the personal decision making of large numbers of people, we can discern two major types of dilemma that they frequently encounter, both of which generate anxiety, shame, and guilt. One major type of stressful dilemma occurs when people have already decided what is the best thing to do but feel too weak to exercise the self-control necessary to carry out their intentions. This type of dilemma impelis many people to go to clinics that offer help for those who want to quit smoking or to lose weight, where they sometimes benefit from supportive guidance for executing and sticking with a difficult decision. Another type of personal dilemma arises when a man or woman is facing a vital choice concerning marriage, career, health, or life style and is in so much conflict that he or she cannot decide what to do. People wanting help in such a crisis have much more difficulty finding an appropriate professional to consult. There is, however, an emerging development of decision counseling to help people make the fullest use of their own resources to resolve the realistic conflicts that arise from a choice dilemma by becoming aware of neglected alternatives and making the best decision in terms of their own value systems (see Janis & Mann, 1978).

Keywords

Decisional Conflict Personal Decision Personality Difference Coping Pattern Interpersonal Attraction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irving Janis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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