Critical thinking refers to mental activity that requires a person to think logically, understand the point between fact and opinion, and coming to a conclusion that is not based on bias, emotion or perception. It is the act of solving problems and making decisions that are reasonable, purposeful and clear. Often times, people using a decision-making model analysis to make important decisions. One such model is rational decision making. "Rational decision making is the systematic analysis of a problem and choice of a solution" (The Decision Group, 2005). Simply defined, this model is a two stage process consisting of problem identification and problem solution.
An example of the use of the rational decision model would be in a meeting between the VeriTest project lead and Hewlett Packard (HP). VeriTest performs testing on proto type printers for HP at HP's Vancouver site. In an effort to gain additional data, HP would like to have VeriTest collect current data in a different method.
The new method would take additional time and resources from VeriTest personnel where resources are already stretched.
The first step in this model is identifying the problem, which is a lack of easy access and compilation of critical data for research and development (R&D) teams. R&D would like VeriTest to input the data into an already overworked database in which they could query the data easily and in a variety of methods. While it does may not sound like a big deal, the impact on VeriTest personnel must be carefully considered before accepting such a proposal. Early identification of the issues will ensure that VeriTest does not take on additional duties that have not been clearly defined in the contract between VeriTest and HP.
The first problem with going to the new data model is the impact to...