Do you exhaustively search for information and systematically evaluate alternatives when faced with decisions?  Or are you more likely to avoid decisions, come to conclusions based on a gut feeling or look to others for advice?

People approach decisions differently, but each person’s own individual style of making decisions tends to be the same over time.  Some people make choices and decisions with a logical and analytical thought process, while others are more intuitive and still others avoid making decisions at all.

According to a study in the International Journal of Stress Management, how you make decisions has an impact on your levels of stress (Allwood & Salo, 2012).  You may find that your decision making style varies, but most people make most decisions in a particular way.

Decision Making Styles that Contribute to Stress:

Avoidant Decision Making:  If you avoid making decisions, you also are likely to have trouble planning work activities efficiently and may get less work done, related to the decisions that need to be made.  Missed deadlines and negative consequences contributes to increased stress levels.

Dependent Decision Making:  If you tend to rely on advice from others before making any decisions you are more likely to also be dependent on other people’s time schedules and planning.  The ambiguity that comes from having little control over the process is a well-documented stressor.

If you’re prone to stress at work, understanding your own style of making decisions can help you pinpoint the origins of your stress.

You can find more strategies to improve how you feel in my new book, The Stress Response and by clicking here to sign up for more of my tips and podcasts using DBT strategies to improve how you feel.

Daydreaming at work photo available from Shutterstock.



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    Last reviewed: 4 Jun 2012

APA Reference
Matta, C. (2012). Your Decision Making Style and Work Stress. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 27, 2015, from



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