What Is The Difference Between Problem-Solving And Decision-Making?


Problem-solving & decision-making both these terms often get confused with one another. They might seem similar, but these two terms are completely distinct and have distinct meanings.

Problem-solving is a comprehensive process following which you reach the answers. In contrast, decision-making is an integral part of the whole detailed procedure of problem-solving, & you get to choose from different alternatives at different points during the whole process.

Problem Solving:

It is a detailed and complex procedure to reach a reasonable answer for the ongoing problem or situation. Therefore, it requires analytical skills during the whole process. In addition, decision-making, a crucial portion of problem-solving, is needed several times during the entire process to pick from the alternatives.

Decision Making:

It is a preference you make in accordance with your judgment during a particular situation. You are supposed to make various choices throughout a whole process, & in the end, when you reach a solution, you get to decide if you’d like to go further with that solution or not. It is an ability that you are supposed to have to opt for the right alternative when required.

The Difference:

Though both these terms appear to be quite similar and are crucial, they are completely varied. For instance, a person who’s good at decision-making while bad at problem-solving might select the right options but wouldn’t be much efficient in resolving that problem.

However, a person who’s good at solving problems & has bad decision-making abilities might successfully find the exact cause or reason behind the ongoing problem but wouldn’t be able to opt for the right alternative when required. Ultimately, both conditions wouldn’t lead a person to a very optimum result.

Now, as you got a clue about the basic differentiation problem-solving & decision-making, let’s discuss their distinction in a more detailed manner.

Comparison of problem-solving & decision making:-

Problem-solving acknowledges a problem or attempts to get to know about the exact problem and then aim for its root cause; however, decision-making looks for an opportunity; it assists you in choosing from the alternatives.

If you’re solving a problem, you get to have a well-defined objective or clear aim, which you are supposed to work towards, whereas while making a decision, you need to contemplate several alternatives and then opt for the best out of them.

The main aim of solving a problem is to attain an answer, while decision-making aims towards avoiding any upcoming problem.

The final result or conclusion of problem-solving is derived by solution, while decision-making could have variable results.

The road towards reaching a solution is mostly unknown in problem-solving, whereas the route is much more planned in decision-making.

Which is better among problem-solving & decision-making skills?

Both these skills are equally important. These are required if you want to prosper in the professional world.

Every corporate employee should have these skills to do their job more proficiently. Apart from professional work, these skills could also help you in your personal life.

Therefore, you should be good at these skills; leaving anyone is not the option. These skills go altogether and would help you do your job efficiently.


To sum up, “what is the difference between problem-solving and decision making?” put, solving the problem is a complex process that emphasizes getting towards reaching a solution. In contrast, you are supposed to choose one option out of several alternatives at different points in the whole process: decision-making.

If you’re someone who’s good at solving problems and making great decisions at the right time, then it’s great. However, if you’re lagging in one of these or both of them, you should consider improving your skills in solving problems and making the right decisions.

I hope this article provided you with adequate information to compare problem-solving & decision-making.


What is the similarity between these two skills are problem-solving and decision-making?

Answer: Though these two have some noticeable differences, there are a few similarities. Both include critical thinking, which is a must to question your and others’ theories. Critical thinking requires a great amount of research and exploration to conclude.

Who requires problem-solving & decision-making skills the most?

Answer: Although everyone is supposed to have good problem-solving & decision-making skills, people employed as leaders and managers need these skills more than everyone else.

Are problem-solving & decision-making important for students?

Answer: Yes, these skills are crucial for students, too, as they need to learn how they are supposed to pick appropriate choices and to reach a required solution as well. Learning such skills make them more confident and develops critical thinking in them.