Difference Between Problem Solving and Decision Making (With Table)

Every person is, without a doubt, influenced by the worst-case situation for a significant period. Another difficult issue is not understanding the distinction between problem-solving and decision-making. Decision-making and problem-solving are both psychological words that are frequently used interchangeably. Furthermore, it should be emphasised that these two terms are not interchangeable and are not synonymous.

Problem Solving vs Decision Making

The difference between problem-solving and decision making is that Problem-solving can be thought of as a technique. When it comes to problem-solving, making the appropriate decisions is critical to arriving at a specific result. However, on the contrary decision,-making is regarded as a procedure. Sometimes the problem-solving process is included in the decision-making process, and sometimes it is not.

Problem-solving is a complex process that entails in-depth analysis. The identification of an issue is usually the first step in the problem-solving process. The main goal of problem-solving is to find the best solution. Problem-solving is usually coupled with a specific goal. The results of problem-solving should be solution-oriented. The techniques and roads to resolution remain unknown when it comes to problem-solving. The purpose of problem-solving is to fix the problem or issue.

The process of decision-making leads to a final opinion and a course of action. The identification of opportunities is part of the decision-making process. The goal of the decision-making process is to avoid potential difficulties. When making decisions, a variety of options are explored. The decision-making process can have a variety of results. The paths adopted in the event of decision-making are structured. The objectives of decision-making are unrelated to the resolution of a problem or issue.

Comparison Table Between Problem Solving and Decision Making

Parameters of ComparisonProblem SolvingDecision Making
ConsiderationMethodProcess
InterconnectionRight decisions are taken to reach out a certain conclusion.May or may not include solving the problems.
Type and involvesA complex, deep analysis required.Final opinion, course of action.
IdentificationIdentification of a challenge.Identification of opportunities.
Motive Creating the right solution. Avoiding potential problems.
Associated withClear objectiveDifferent types of options are considered.
OutcomesSolution-driven. It varies
Paths/ waysThe ways to resolution are not known.The paths taken are structured.
GoalCorrect the issue or problem.Unrelated to the solving of an issue.

What is Problem Solving?

Problem-solving is a technique that can be used to solve a problem. When it comes to problem-solving, making the appropriate judgments is critical to reaching a specific outcome. Problem-solving is a difficult process that entails extensive research. Identifying a difficulty is a common step in the problem-solving process.

In simple words or layman terms, problem-solving is simply solving problems, as the name suggests. Here, either an individual or a group tries to solve a problem in this process. This involves high analytical skills for reaching better and faster solutions. This process also includes gathering information, facts and following or working parallel with human intuition.

The primary goal of problem-solving is to find the best solution possible. In general, problem-solving is linked to a specific goal. Problem-solving results must be solution-oriented. The techniques and roads to resolution are unknown in the case of problem-solving. The purpose of problem-solving is to resolve the problem or issue.

What is Decision Making?

Making a decision is seen to be a procedure. Depending on the situation, the decision-making process may or may not entail problem-solving. The decision-making process culminates in the formulation of a conclusion and a plan of action. Identifying opportunities is an important part of the decision-making process.

Decision making generally focuses on the actions, ways and alternatives that are used to solve a particular problem. This is also a result of cognitive function. Sometimes a psychological aspect of an individual is taken into consideration while stressing about making decisions. The needs and wants are taken care of. This process can also be considered as continuous interaction with the surrounding environment.

The goal of the decision-making process is to avoid any potential issues. While making decisions, various types of options are explored. Decision-making can have a variety of results. The paths that are taken in decision-making are structured. The decision-making goals have nothing to do with resolving a problem or issue.

Main Differences Between Problem Solving and Decision Making

  1. Problem-solving can be considered a method. On the other hand, decision making is considered a process.
  2. At the time of problem-solving, taking the right decisions is important to reach out a certain conclusion. On the other hand, the decision-making process sometimes includes solving the problems and sometimes does not.
  3. The method of problem-solving is complex and includes deep analysis. On the other hand, the decision-making process leads to taking a final opinion and a course of action.
  4. The method of problem-solving usually involves the identification of a challenge. On the other hand, the process of decision making involves the identification of opportunities.
  5. Creating the right solution is the important motive of problem-solving. On the other hand, avoiding potential problems is the motive of the decision-making process.
  6. Problem-solving is generally associated with a clear objective. On the other hand, different types of options are considered while taking decisions.
  7. The outcomes coming from problem-solving should be solution-driven. On the other hand, the outcomes of the decision making can vary.
  8. In the case of problem-solving, the ways and paths to resolution are not known. On the other hand, in the case of decision making, the paths taken are structured.
  9. The goal of problem-solving is to correct the issue or problem. On the other hand, the goals associated with the decision making is not related to the solving of an issue or problem.

Conclusion

Human life is full of problems, issues, complexities. Let it be career tension, financial stress, insurance tension, academics issues or relationship problems. Every individual is affected by the worst scenario for at least a considerable amount of time, for sure.

However, another complex issue is not knowing the difference between problem-solving and decision making. These psychological and commonly used terms like decision making and problem-solving are often used interchangeably as well. Moreover, it should be noted that these two phrases are completely different from each other and are not synonymous.

References

  1. https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1794/22321/slovic_189.pdf?sequence=1
  2. http://www.sci.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~kopec/cis718/fall_2005/2/Rafique_2_humanthinking.doc
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