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Integrative Complexity

Definition

Integrative complexity deals with how people process information. Some people may view things in simple terms (e.g., John is always introverted), and some may view them in more complex ways (e.g., whether John is introverted depends on how well he knows the people in the situation). More formally, level of complexity depends on two underlying variables:

  • the capacity and willingness to accept that there is more than one way to look at an issue and to acknowledge that these differing perspectives are all legitimate (differentiation), and
  • the ability to form conceptual links among these perspectives and to integrate them into a coherent overall judgment (integration).

Low differentiation implies lack of awareness or acceptance of alternative ways of looking at an issue. For example, a person who ...

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