In this paper, I intend to discuss the relationship between critical thinking and decision-making. Before we can understand the relationship between critical thinking and decision-making, we must first define each of these terms. Critical thinking needs to be an integral part of the decision making process. By integrating critical thinking skills into the decision making process, we can improve our ability to make correct and timely decisions.
What is critical thinking? What is decision making? These seemingly simple questions can have very complicated answers. I define critical thinking and decision making as the following:.
• Critical thinking is a learned skill that individuals can use to judge the merit of statements and ideas. .
• Decision-making is the process by which we evaluate alternatives and select options for implementation. .
As Browne, Keeley, McCall, Jr., and Kaplan, (2001, p.5), define it, the critical thinking skill requires that individuals be aware that a set of interrelated critical questions exist and that they be able and willing to ask and answer these questions at appropriate times. Browne, et al. (2001, pg 50) define decision making as an inextricably intertwined set of stages that include the definition of the problem, the generation of alternative solutions, the weighing of alternatives against a known criterion, and the making of a choice.
Therefore, by combining my definitions with the definitions given by Browne, et al., we have these more complete definitions of our terms: .
• Critical thinking is a learned skill that requires that we ask a set of interrelated questions whose answers we use to judge the merit of statements and ideas. .
• Decision-making is the inextricably intertwined process by which we define problems, generate and evaluate alternatives and choose an option for implementation. .
Relating Critical Thinking to Decision Making.