It’s Not A Life Decision… Or Is It?
Critical Thinking Tools For Making Choices
Sara has a problem. She can’t decide which top to wear to her interview. Should she choose the red one that makes her feel in control or the blue one that sets off her eyes? These are the questions she is asking herself as she attempts to make her choice. Then she pauses and says to herself, “Hey wait a minute, this is not a life decision, just pick one already.” But what happens when it is a life decision. How should she go about solving real world problems that will impact her life? It’s simple; she should learn to think critically. Critical thinking provides individuals with an arsenal of problem solving techniques. Through critical thinking we learn how to identify the problem, how to come up with solutions, and what to do once the decision is made.
Perhaps the most important step in the decision making process is identifying the issue or problem to be solved. Sometimes the issue is masked by symptoms that may seem to be the dilemma itself. This is especially true if it is a complex problem. These symptoms may in fact be smaller problems that need solving along the way, but should not be mistaken for the complete package. If only a symptom is solved, the real problem will still be lurking about causing mischief. Critical thinking tells us that in order to make a decisions we must first clearly define the issue so that it’s causes can be investigated and alternative solutions identified. (DeVry University Press, 2007, p. 51)
Once the root of the problem has been discovered, it’s time to get down to business and determine the cause or causes of the issue. This is the time to be inquisitive and ask questions like who, what, when, and where. The most important part of this process is to dig deep and be as honest as possible when answering self-evaluating or situation assessing questions.
After the cause has been identified, what is to be done with it? To...