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What is Critical Thinking Wade 1995 identifies eight characteristics of critical thinking Critical thinking involves asking questions defining a problem examining evidence analyzing assumptions and biases avoiding emotional reasoning avoiding oversimplification considering other interpretations and tolerating ambiguity Dealing with ambiguity is also seen by Strohm Baukus 1995 as an essential part of critical thinking Ambiguity and doubt serve a critical-thinking function and are a necessary and even a productive part of the process Strohm Baukus p 56 Another characteristic of critical thinking identified by many sources is metacongition Metacongition is thinking about ones own thinking More specifically metacognition is being aware of ones thinking as one performs specific tasks and then using this awareness to control what one is doing Jones Ratcliff 1993 p 10 What is Decision Making A decision is an allocation of resources It can be likened to writing a check and delivering it to the payee It is irrevocable except that a new decision may reverse it In the same way that a check is signed by the account owner a decision is made by the decision maker The decision maker is one who has authority over the resources being allocated Presumably he or she makes the decision in order to further some objective which is what he hopes to achieve by allocating the resources The three features of a decision situation At the time of the decision the decision maker has available to him at least two alternatives which are the courses of action that he might take When he chooses an alternative and commits to it ie signs and delivers the check he has made the decision and then uncertainties come into play These are those uncontrollable elements that we sometimes call luck Different alternatives that the decision maker might choose might subject him to different uncertainties but in every case the alternatives combine with the uncertainties to produce the outcome How Does This Course Define
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