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Thinking And Decision Making

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Thinking and Decision Making

In the following essay three different types of thinking styles will be analyzed. The three thinking types will be compared and contrasted, as well as applied to affects they have in the critical thinking process. Finally, critical thinking will be applied to the decision making process by using workplace examples.

The first thinking style is emotional thinking. The emotional thinking style is probably one of the most familiar of the thinking styles. It would be hard to find a person who could deny making decisions based on emotions and later regretting them. Unlike any other thinking style, emotional thinking can be construed as dangerous because it clouds the mind of effective reasoning and determining of the facts in the given situation. For example, while visiting a local retail store it was hard not to notice that a lady was yelling at a sales representative. The lady was upset, and for good reason, because her car was stolen and her purse was taken too. The situation was the sales representative needed to see the ladies license to be able to accept a check payment and the lady was unable to produce one. Instead of thinking rationally the lady began to verbally attack the sales person, yelling "I hope your car gets stolen". In this given situation it was apparent that frustration and anger was clouding the women's ability to re-think the situation and either come up with an alternate solution or accept her fate. The lady was verbally attacking the sales clerk, by making the issue personal, even though the clerk was simply doing her job. Emotional thinking can get the best of any sane or rational being because it manipulates a person's perception of a situation. In addition, emotional thinking is a thinking style that is a personal barrier because it causes a person to make harsh, irrational, and unrealistic decisions on a split second notice.

The second type of thinking style is logical thinking. According to the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, logic is "the science of the formal principles of reasoning" (Page 732). In the logical style of thinking, one takes the elements of critical thinking and filters it through logic to arrive at a conclusion that is clear, accurate, relevant, significant, and logical. It ensures all applicable information is considered in the reasoning process to arrive at a sound conclusion, a conclusion that is framed by purpose.

The reasoning process is initiated by its purpose. It provides the reason why we critically evaluate an idea or situation. It guides critical thought in addressing the questions of clarity, accuracy, relevance, significance, and fairness (Critical Thinking page 99). Knowing why we are critically thinking about something, it follows that the questions to be answered, as well as the data being evaluated be as clear and accurate as possible; Defined and accurate inputs are critical to the process. The inputs are then evaluated for relevance and significance. Data must be pertinent to the matter being considered, and provide sufficient support for the position. If the data does not support the position, then one must be open minded and be willing to accept that the position is not sound, or the conclusion arrived at is incorrect (Paul and Elder 87-116).

Upon arriving at the conclusion, a logical evaluation of the conclusion and the manner in which it was obtained is then applied. Crucial questions about the flow of thought are addressed. Are the questions being evaluated clear? Is the data used in answering the questions accurate, relevant, of sufficient depth and breadth? Does the data support or negate the position or idea? Does the process logically lead from step to step, or are there any leaps in reasoning? Applying this perspective of reasoning ensures that ideas are evaluated are on their merits and helps limit influences that may distort effective critical thought.

The last thinking style is Optimistic thinking. Optimistic thinking requires turning negative thoughts into positive, healthy aspects of living. An optimist thinker sees a new challenge and strives to conquer it. Optimistic thinking skills are a powerful antidote to anger partly because the optimist has better resistance to depression when bad events strike, better performance at work, better physical health and better relationships.

Many people discover that they can feel virtuous by opposing whatever the trend-setters declare to be wrong. The protest mentality worms its way into social issues and into one's basic approach to thinking, feeling, and behaving. One must see a focus on solutions and possibilities. Destructive criticism feels easier than constructive thinking. Despite the external pressures, a person must maintain an optimistic outlook. A person does not do themselves or others any favors by replacing a pessimistic protest mentality with a passive optimism.

Optimistic thinking forms a big part of emotional life expansion. If one wishes to live effectively, he/she will have to remove themselves from problems, and replace them with a rational, active form of optimistic thinking. Becoming an effective optimist requires more from us than putting on a forced smile and telling ourselves, "Everything will work out for the best". Living at full capacity--a capacity beyond what most of us imagine possible--asks us to go beyond superficial formulas ("Don't



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