would be on an l. Q. test. There's no intrinsic value of one process of doing things over another. Whether a process is good or not depends upon the situation for which it is used--the context for which it is being applied.
Q. What do you mean by a "context?"
A. A context is the surrounding situation within which an event or problem takes place. Some aspects of context are obvious: work vs. play, sales vs. management, formal vs. informal, and so on. However, the most important aspects of context are often not obvious. They may include factors of historical perspective, trends, constraints to change, future needs, potential consequences, the value of a goal within a larger picture, appropriate alternatives, etc. Contexts can be very subtle and very complex in important ways.
There are many situations where sensitivity to a situation's context is not an important factor. In these instances, people with thinking processes that focus upon execution of a known or assigned plan or process tend to be much more comfortable and thus, more successful than those who are context sensitive. In other situations, sensitivity to contexts may be crucial When a particular style is "best," it is best because of its match to the needs of a particular context.
Q. Will you describe the five processes here?
A. No. These processes only mean something when they are described within a particular context. Otherwise, we find that people like to latch on to the descriptors as if they were psychological categories rather than operating behaviors. When this happens people start to ascribe *good* and *bad* values to each of the processes rather than looking at their usefulness in differing situations. For instance, is this a situation where it is best to rely on past experiences as a basis for making choices? Is it one where it's best to adapt experiences to produce a new version of an old idea? Is it one where it's best to design a new way of approaching the whole situation?
If one of us were to communicate with you personally and you could specifically identify the particular context within which you'd like to understand these processes, we could tell you how someone with a particular process pattern would operate within your specified context. That would not mean the person was good or bad, smart or dumb, interesting or dull.. just that he could--or could not-successfully work (or learn, or create) within the context you had outlined..
Q. Can you change someone's thinking style?
A. Not as far as we know, except in some cases for young children (before ages eight or nine) and for a small number of highly flexible people who develop a new pattern once they are forced to operate under a very tight structure). Our only successes in teaching have been in making people better at using their own process--and thus more effective. By using the information about these processes as they relate to a particular