Is there a relationship between critical thinking and decision making? In order to answer that question they both must be defined. Arons (1985) defines critical thinking as: "asking questions. (How do we know? What is the evidence?), being aware of gaps in knowledge, distinguishing between fact and conjecture, distinguishing between an idea and the name of that idea and providing definitions, looking for (hidden) assumptions, performing hypothetico-deductive reasoning, knowing inductive and deductive reasoning, intellectual self-reliance, and being aware of our own thinking process".
Harris (1998) defines decision making as: "the study of identifying and choosing alternatives based on the values and preferences of the decision maker, and the process of sufficiently reducing uncertainty and doubt about alternatives to allow a reasonable choice to be made from among them."
By definitions alone we can see that decision making and critical thinking are linked. Good managerial decisions are dependant on the employment of critical thinking.
Critical Thinking and Decision Making
In order to determine the relationship between decision making and critical thinking, it becomes necessary to first define each of them. I'll start with decision making. In an internet article, Harris (1998) defines decision making as follows:
1."Decision making is the study of identifying and choosing alternatives based on the values and preferences of the decision maker.
2.Decision making is the process of sufficiently reducing uncertainty and doubt about alternatives to allow a reasonable choice to be made from among them."
The author presents this definition as being standard, and after having read portions of the required texts for this course I would agree. The authors, McCall and Kaplan (1990), speak to the problems facing decision makers rather than focusing on the definition itself. They cite many examples of the difficulty facing today's managers in actually adhering to the definition...