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Tools and Techniques While doing internet research on various critical thinking and decision-making techniques I stumbled upon some material written by Robert Harris a retired university English professor who now spends his time writing articles and essays on creative problem solving using the Web as a research tool avoiding plagiarism and other topics related to critical thinking and research In one of Harris articles he mentions a decision making model called CARS which stands for Credibility Accuracy Reasonableness and Support This is CARS model is actually intended for internet research but I felt that it could also be a good technique for making certain business decisions Credibility The first step in evaluation and decision-making is to determine the credibility of the source that is providing the material or issue The listener or researcher should search for evidence of authenticity and reliability as the material is provided Some key tests that should be applied include checking the authors credibility or credentials ensuring evidence of quality control for the material looking for misinformation Harris 1997 and check for indicators of lack of credibility Some indicators especially for written material can include anonymity lack of quality control negative misinformation and bad grammar or misspelled words If credibility is not present you should find another source of information to compare with before making any decisions Accuracy The second step of evaluating research materials or analyzing input for decision-making is to conduct an accuracy test to assure that the information is actually correct Harris 1997 Some concepts that will help in the accuracy test include checking for timeliness comprehensiveness audience and purpose In addition one should watch for indicators of lack of accuracy which may include no date on the document vague or sweeping generalizations old date on information and a very one sided view that does not acknowledge opposing views or respond to them Harris 1997 Also keep in mind that when your source is not dated or
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