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Critical Thinking and Decision Making

            Critical Thinking and Decision Making.
             Critical thinking, like many other logical and philosophical concepts, does not have an authoritative and universally accepted definition. Since the concept of critical thinking was proposed several decades ago, numerous thinkers and researchers have come up with diversified definitions based on their own unique perspective and understanding. For example, in his 1985 paper Synthesis of Research on Critical Thinking, Stephen P. Norris said that critical thinking is deciding rationally what to or what not be believe." L. Elder and R. Paul noted in their paper Critical Thinking: Why we must transfer our teaching that "critical thinking is best understood as the ability of thinkers to take charge of their own thinking." (1994) Diane F. Halpern described critical thinking as "the user of those cognitive skills or strategies that increase the probability of a desirable outcome" in Thought and Knowledge: An Introduction to Critical Thinking (1996). .
             In the textbook of this course, Reading in Critical Thinking, Browne and his coauthors define critical thinking as "the awareness of a set of interrelated critical questions, the ability to ask and answer critical questions at appropriate times and the desire to actively use the critical questions" (Browne, Keeley, McCall & Kaplan, 2001). Although these definitions seems quite different at first glance, it is not hard to see that they all evolve around the same center point that critical thinking is a practice that promotes better and more skillful thinking.
             Another concept often mentioned along with critical thinking is decision making. As the name suggests, decision making refers to the process of making decisions under all kinds of circumstances, as well as the techniques that can be used to facilitate the process. Everybody makes decisions every day. In addition, people are constantly making decisions that have an impact on each other.

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