Critical Thinking And Decision Making

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Critical Thinking and Decision Making

Critical Thinking and Decision Making

Critical thinking generally refers to higher order thinking that questions assumptions. Critical thinking is "thinking about thinking." It is a way of deciding if a claim is true, false, or sometimes true and sometimes false, or partly true and partly false. The concept is somewhat contested within the field of education due to the multiple possible meanings

Decisions in my workplace can be improved through critical thinking. I notice that a lot of the soldiers in my unit make decisions based on their emotions as opposed to more rational means of making choices. I suppose that this is due to a lack of knowledge about the subject of critical thinking. Based on my own experiences, emotionally based decisions tend to be more extreme and can lead to choices that one will regret ever having made. This paper will discuss the relationship between critical thinking and decision making. With this paper, I will briefly address questions pertaining to the following areas of critical thinking: (1) What is critical thinking, (2) What is decision making, (3) How do they relate to one another, (4) The benefits of thinking critically, and (5) My observations of how critical thinking processes are being applied in my unit.

What is Critical Thinking?

Our text book defines critical thinking simply as a “systematic evaluation of arguments based on explicit rational criteria” (Browne, Keely, McCall, & Kaplan, 2001). I interpret that definition as gathering as much evidence and facts possible as time permits before making a final decision. For instance, whenever one of my soldiers doesn't report to formation on time I make it a point to make sure he or she is ok before jumping to conclusion. The fact of the matter is that I really don't know weather or not the soldier has a legitimate excuse until I am able to evaluate all of the available evidence. If I assume the soldier has a poor excuse before talking to him or her, then I will open myself up to getting upset too early. What if we get informed that the soldier was rushed to the hospital and in critical condition due to a car accident? I'll feel very stupid that I jumped to conclusion like that. The bottom line is that we should take our time and gather as many facts as possible before reacting so quickly.

What is Decision Making?

A successful leader in the military must possess the ability to constantly alternate between critical thinking and decision making. Our materials for this course refers to decision making as the ability to use logical and sound judgment to make choices based on available information.  This simply means think before and while you act. This requires us to ask a series of questions that pertain to the situation in order to correctly assess it. I'm responsible for repairing communications equipment in my unit. Before I decide what the problem is and how to fix it, I must interview the ...
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