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Many times we assume that the thoughts we have are correct for no other reason than the fact that they occurred to us We often think that we are right even when we are wrong We frequently do not recognize the illogical tendencies in ourselves and those around us If we examine the origin of our feelings thoughts and emotions we will become aware of the need to do more critical thinking What is critical thinking A good place to start is with what it is not The natural disposition to be unaware of the thinking process is uncritical thinking Critical Thinking-What Can It Be 2000 Accepting something as true because it occurred to us or applying standards of judgment without questioning criteria for the judgment is an example of uncritical thinking The questioning or inquiry we engage in when we seek to understand evaluate or resolve is defined as critical thinking Ruggiero 1998 The critical thinker has four steps to follow First follow evidence where it leads Second consider a variety of possible viewpoints and explanations Third weigh the effects of motives and biases Lastly do not reject unpopular views out of hand Routinely evaluating ones own thinking builds intuition that is often valuable in the decision-making process Ruggiero 1998 We all make decisions of varying importance every day Yet most people do not have an understanding of what decision-making is or involves So what is decision-making Decision-making is the study of identifying and choosing alternatives based on the values and preferences of the decision-maker Harris 1997 The decision-maker has six steps to follow First define the problem Second gather information Third identify alternatives Fourth predict future consequences Fifth compare alternatives Lastly select the best alternative No single definition of critical thinking or decision making captures all they are but the course material on these topics suggest otherwise The authors of Critical Thinking Asking the Right Questions say the following Critical thinking consists of
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