“Cognitive Style Preferences and Financial Management Decision Styles” (Financial Counseling and Planning,
Volume 2, 1991)
By: KATHRYN D. RETTIG AND CATHERINE L. SCHULZ
CONTACT: KATHRYN D. RETTIG (E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
POSTAL: Department of Family Social Science, 290 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108
Phone: (612) 625-7745. FAX: (612) 625-4227.
The purposes of this paper were to describe the development of a scale which measures preferred financial decision
making styles of individuals (FDMDS1). report results of an exploratory study which examined the relationships
among the cognitive style preferences of 80 adults and their financial decision styles, recommend modifications in the
instrument based on correlation and reliability analyses, and suggest hypotheses for future research. Items for the
FDMDS1 were developed using the conceptual definitions of analyst, synthesist, idealist, realist, and pragmatist
thinking styles of Harrison and Bramson. Results of the analyses indicated 22 internally consistent items which
clearly distinguished between the analyst-synthesist and realist-pragmatist approaches to financial decision making.
The analyst-synthesist and realist-pragmatist decision makers vary in reflectiveness versus impulsivity in considering
and weighing alternatives; quantitative and specific versus qualitative and general information preferences; and a time
orientation emphasis on long versus short-term goals.
KEY WORDS: cognitive style, financial decision style, management