Critical Thinking and Decision Making.

Essay by eze88University, Bachelor'sA+, October 2003

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Diane Halpern (1996) gives us this definition of critical thinking:

Critical thinking is the use of those cognitive skills or strategies that increase the probability of a desirable outcome. It is used to describe thinking that is purposeful, reasoned and goal directed - the kind of thinking involved in solving problems, formulating inferences, calculating likelihoods, and making decisions when the thinker is using skills that are thoughtful and effective for the particular context and type of thinking task. Critical thinking also involves evaluating the thinking process - the reasoning that went into the conclusion we've arrived at the kinds of factors considered in making a decision. Critical thinking is sometimes called directed thinking because it focuses on a desired outcome. (p.17) The authors of our text, Readings in Critical Thinking, (Browne, Keeley, McCall, Jr., &Kaplan, 2003) define critical thinking as awareness of a set of interrelated critical questions; ability to ask and answer critical questions at appropriate times; and desire to actively use the critical questions (p.

4). Of course, this requires that we learn self-discipline and the art of self-examination. This involves becoming interested in how our mind works how we can monitor and fine tune our minds. It involves getting into the habit of examining our impulsive and ways of thinking and acting in every action we take in ours lives. And what is decision making? It is the process of making a selective intellectual judgment when presented with several complex alternatives consisting of several variables, and usually defining a course of action or an idea. (Medical Dictionary Search Engine)

The way we approach a problem or situation can be very important. In addition, all that we do is based on some motivations or reasons that influence our way of thinking. However, we rarely examine our motivations...