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Critical Thinking Application Paper

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Critical thinking can be described as a unique kind of thinking related to any subject or topic; in any situation whether it is personal or professional. Critical thinking is what separates facts from opinions and also evaluates ones options. In doing this, an individual will have to take on certain traits and follow steps of identifying in order to evaluate a situation and come to the best possible solution of the problem solving (Paul, and Elder, 2006, p. 8).

In accordance with Paul & Elder, "Critical thinking takes charge of the construction of thinking with awareness of its elements, such as question at issue, information, concepts, inferences, assumptions, implications and point of view. Critical thinkers impose criteria and intellectual standards on the thinking such as a clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, logic, and fairness." (2006, p. 16). Critical thinkers demonstrate specific characteristics. Some of those characteristics are as follows: intellectual perseverance, humility, empathy, and fair mindedness, deliberation, and curiosity. The most important aspect of critical thinking is to think carefully. A strong critical thinker will develop a reasonable conclusion after performing research and absorbing everything with an open mind, looking at the issue from all aspects, drawing a conclusion only after screening multiple points of view (Nashville State Community College, 2011).

In order to make the best decision possible, decision making models have been developed for people to follow. Similar to other decision making models, The University of Phoenix has developed their own. This model incorporates a nine-step process that has three important elements/phases, problem identification, making a decision, and evaluating the impacts of that decision. The first phase (decision making) begins with step one identify the problem, step two is to define the criteria, goals, and objectives, and step three is to evaluate the effect of the problem. In the second phase (making the decision) step four is to identify the causes of the problem, step five is to frame alternativeness, step six is evaluate the impacts of the alternatives, and step seven is to make the decision. In the third phase (evaluating the decision) step eight is measure the impacts of the decision, and step nine a person must implement the decision. (2006)

Each step in the decision making process is crucial, however the most important step is when one is actually faced with making the decision. The three steps associated with that phase are huge simply because it dictates the end result and the actual choice is where everything stems from.

Framing the problem is difficult, but once the issue is made aware of, one would need to make an appropriate, beneficial, and reasonable decision along with alternatives that will fit the situation best (Paul, and Elder, 2006, p. 3).

Some benefits of critical thinking is a positive decision making process, where one will achieve goals they desire. Critical thinkers are careful to make choices without altering other life changing decisions. Critical thinking is beneficial to the decision making process in that it provides one with all of the background information and options available before making significant choices. It also allows one to take many things into care in relation to the decision in question. Critical thinking is a knowledgeable and conscious way to make a choice and value options. Critical thinking allows people to make decisions that are the best for them and the world and people around them will be happy (Paul, and Elder, 2006, p. 3).

Evaluation of potential negatives and foreseeing issues of the decision is a vital step. There are many risks involved in bypassing the steps associated in the decision making model. Some of these risks involve Irrelevant or inadequate information, overlooking the best solution(s), which can result in errors, people can be offended, values, mortals,



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