Critical Thinking: Solving Complex Problems

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Critical Thinking: Solving complex problems

Critical Thinking: Solving complex problems

Critical Thinking and Decision Making

The critical thinking and decision-making processes are very important and necessary in processing the amount of information that is pushed on us day after day. There is so much conflicting information on any given topic that it is up to the individual to decide what to believe. The critical thinking process assists a person in analyzing information and reaching a conclusion. The decision making process is a systematic method used in problem solving. (Wade 2007) In this paper, I will define the critical thinking and decision-making processes, how they are related, the benefits each provides and how I have applied them in my work environment.


Critical thinking, writing and reading require a specific set of skills to reach a conclusion. The skills involve a system of questions that will provide you with more information to allow you to reach a decision regarding a specific issue. However, it is imperative to know how and when to ask this system of questions. Critical thinking requires that you remain open-minded and do not allow emotions to influence the thought process. (Halpern, 1996)

It is a process of eliminating fallacies, ambiguities and emotions as you reach a personal conclusion. It is a matter of being open-minded to listen to arguments and possibly changing your conclusion. This is a process that is conducive to better decisions in business, (Wade 2007) leadership roles and an individual's personal life.

On the other hand decision-making is a process that has been derived from reasoning. It is a process that uses such methods a brainstorming, benchmarking, mind mapping and flow charts to reach a decision. Decision-making follows a series of 6-8 steps to identify, evaluate and solve a problem. It also includes a method to evaluate the final decision and measure the impact of that decision.

Decision-making is central to human activity. Thus, we are all decision-makers. However, "good" decision-making starts with a consecutive, purposeful, strategic-thinking process. (Arsham, 2005) Decision-making can be applied to many of the problems we encounter on a day-to-day basis. However, we must ensure we are solving the main problem and not the symptoms or peripheral problems. That's why identifying the problem is one of the most important steps in the decision making process. Without problem definition you will be spinning your wheels trying to reach a decision.

Relationship and Benefits

Critical thinking and decision-making are quite similar. They both ...
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