Critical Thinking and Decision Making

Essay by chilsmeUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, April 2008

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Critical Thinking and Decision Making

Mark Chilson

University of Phoenix


Critical Thinking and Decision Making

There are several definitions about critical thinking. Essentially, critical thinking is asking reflective questions and answering using analysis skills. Critical thinking involves the use of reasoning and analyzing information with an open mind in order to form an observation or informal conclusion. Critical thinking is not only knowing when to ask questions, but also knowing what questions to ask. "Critical thinking has also been called directed thinking because it focuses on a desired outcome." (Halpern, Diane F., 1986) Over all, I define critical thinking as a thorough method of evaluating presented information or situations by eliminating fallacies, ambiguities, and emotions in an attempt to reach an impartial conclusion or decision.

Decision-making comes when you believe the results of your own analysis and act accordingly. Decision-making is something we do everyday from the time we awaken in the morning until the time we get into bed in the evening.

We decide to have breakfast or not in the morning, we decide on what to wear to school or to work, we decide on daily tasks. In decision-making, the first, and most important step, is to identify the problem or query, this will provide a starting point. Next, compile, all the known facts available then come up with a conclusion based on that information. You then add some structure to the thoughts on the information gathered, and make the final decision once the goals have been met. It has been stated, "Good decision-making starts with a consecutive, purposeful, strategic-thinking process" (Arsham, H.) I would say that decision-making is the ending result of the critical thinking process, because in order to be an effective decision maker, you must be fully...