oa Journal of Psychology in Africa - Decision making and operational thinking in non-literate women
The aim of this research was to investigate the relationship between the integration of women in decision-making processes and their operational thinking abilities. The assumption was that the opportunity to make decisions or to participate in decision-making processes affects positively the operational abilities as defined by Piaget. Four contrasting groups of 20 to 50 non-literate women with the same cultural background participated in this research. They were women, heads of household (single, divorced or widowed) with an income-generating activity, i.e. women who have to care for themselves and their children, contrasted with housewives with no economic activities, but restricted to their, house-work job. Each group was further subdivided into urban arid rural women. Each participant was interviewed, following a questionnaire to assess the extent of their involvement in decision-making processes and was also tested on her operational thinking abilities by use of a battery of psychological tests. Moreover, a significant positive correlation was found between these two variables: the integration in decision-making and the lever of the operational thinking. The results show also a significant difference when comparing the two urban groups of different marital status but also when one compares the two heads of household groups of different residential areas. The results have shown that the participation in decision-making was highest for urban heads of households who also scored highest in the psychological test. The results lead to the conclusion that women who are in a position to make decisions and who exercise this power develop, in so doing, their operational thinking abilities., The relevance of such finding for countries where women are still very poorly integrated in national development and are considered as unable to make decisions due to their inadequate reasoning abilities is important.
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