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Thinking And Decision Making

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From the beginning of our lives to the end we use our brains to process billions of pieces of data. When we analyze information, it is in thought patterns which determine the way we think and reason on matters. These patterns of thought are what assist in deciding between something very simple and something extremely complex. Our discussion in this writing will be to give a brief explanation of Creative Thinking, Logical Thinking and Persuasive Thinking. In all three of these types of thinking, they are different but share a common thread which is that they are all effective thought patterns that if used properly can mean the difference between making good sound decisions or bad ones. Our goal is to shed light on how these three types of thinking can be beneficial in the workplace.

Creative Thinking

Creativity can be used by anyone and is often used without any realization. We will define creativity, discuss the involvement that creativity has with critical thinking, and the affects it has on critical thinking. Creativity takes the existing and transforms them into something new by either taking one thing and making them into something new or taking the whole thing or parts of a multiple thing(s) to create something new.

Creativity is one of the first steps in the critical thinking process (Paul and Elder, 2007). It is the questions and thought process to any critical thinking process. Even though it is the first or one of the early steps in the thinking process it can be used anytime and through out the entire process (Paul and Elder, 2007). It is also a crucial component to critical thinking. Without out creativity in the critical thinking process we would not have new inventions. Were other approaches have facts or previous logic to substantiate their ideas; creativity is based strictly on ideas, topics or inventions. Because of this approach creativity is often categorized as the dreamers approach. Creativity also depends on the person's knowledge of the subject matter. If there is little or no knowledge of the subject matter one can not come up with ideas on how to improve or create something new. Therefore, they would have to educate themselves if they want to be any type of a resource. Lack of knowledge is one thing that can stifle the creativity of someone; fear and confidence can also be a deterrent to peoples ability to be creative (Paul and Elder, 2007). Lastly, creativity is the starting point for critical thinking and it is needed to start the process and to give direction.

Brainstorming is probably the best known and certainly one of the most powerful idea generating techniques of creative thinking. The main goals of brainstorming are (1) to break us out of our habit-bound thinking and (2) to produce a set of ideas from which we can choose. (No one wants to have a choice of only one product when buying detergent or cars, so why have a choice of only one solution when working on a problem?) (Robert Harris, 2002). For example, in a closed lab, blank unwrapped CDs are not allowed to be stored in a desk drawer or supply cabinet without being marked appropriately thus the need for locking them in a safe once the box is opened. The lab team used a brainstorming round robin approach to come up with new ways of providing CDs without the need to mark each individually or be locked in the safe until needed. The solution, purchase individually wrapped CDs. They will not have to be marked until the seal is broken, and they can be available at all times for the team.

Logical Thinking

Logical thinking is not a magical process or a matter of genetic endowment, but a learned metal process (Albrecht). Logical thinking is the process in which a person uses reasoning all the time or constantly to come to a conclusion or to make a decision. Issues, problems, and situations that involve logical thinking require structure, for relationships between facts, and for chains of reasoning that make sense. The basis of all logical thinking is sequential thought (Albrecht). This thinking process involves taking the important facts, ideas, and conclusions involved in a problem or situation and putting the in order that takes on a meaning in and of itself. To be a logical thinker is to think in steps. Logical thinking is also an important foundational skill in math. Mathematics is a very sequential process. It has been proven that specific teaching and training in logical thinking can make a person smarter (Albrecht).

Logical thinkers use both deductive and inductive logic as problem solvers. However, more information is often needed to complete the reasoning cycle. For example, an anechoic chamber is being refurbished and the floor is now approximately six inches lower than before. A scissor cart is used to load equipment in the motion base for testing. The scissor cart was not extended to the full height on the old chamber floor so by extending the cart to full height loading into the motion base will not be a problem. This logic did not hold true as no one bothered to load the cart to consider how the weight would affect the lift thus requiring the use of a temporary ramp until the cart can be modified.

Persuasive Thinking

Persuasive thinking is the ability to sway another's frame of reference by utilizing manipulative mental processes. While persuasive thinking may appear easy it is a delicate art which calls for careful consideration. As a powerful persuasive thinker one must have a set purpose in mind when motivating another toward the desired objective. Solid argumentation



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