Limited, but Relevant

Americans prefer gathering limited, but highly relevant, information, and fast. Comprehensiveness costs time, and must be justified by its value. All information sources should be considered, provided that there is sufficient time. Americans also accept subjective (non-quantifiable) information sources, such as personal references. Their credibility, though, is judged based on experience (track record) and reputation.

For Americans, however, information gathering serves the pragmatic purpose of information analysis, which in turns serves decision making. Information gathering, thus, is seen early in direct connection with the end goal. If enough information has been collected in order to perform good analysis, there is no reason not to move on to the information analysis step in the decision-making process. Information gathering is not an academic exercise.

Because Americans also see the complexity inherent in many decisions, they prefer to break down decisions into sub-decisions, into particulars. This allows for more focus on key elements of the broader decision. The analysis of the information should then be quick and pragmatic. Objective tools are helpful and should be used, but also combined with experience and common sense. Americans are willing to trust their intuition.