Thinking Case

Published: 2021-06-29 07:07:55
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Category: Psychology

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<<< Michelle Obama participates in
volunteer service with local elementary
school students. What decision-making
factors contribute to our own choices to
participate in service?
Chapter 01 4
Risk and Uncertainty Abound
We might not skateboard through an intersection, but none of us can
escape life's risks and uncertainties. Uncertainties apply to potentially
good things, too. For example, people might be
uncertain when choosing a major, taking a
part time job, making a new friend, or
responding to President Obama's call for volunteer
service. You never know what new
friendships you will make, what new skills you
will acquire, what new opportunities might
emerge for you, how your efforts will
benefit other people, or how much satisfaction you may feel. Whenever
a choice is being contemplated, to maximize our chances for welcome
outcomes and to minimize our chances for undesirable outcomes, we
need to employ purposeful, reflective judgment. Sure, winning is great,
but it's just not a good idea to play poker unless we can afford to lose.
We need to think ahead, to plan, and to problem solve. This means we
need critical thinking.
All of us encounter opportunities in our daily lives to engage problems
and decisions using strong critical thinking. In a nation that values selfreliance
and initiative, the stronger our critical thinking skills and habits
of mind, the greater our prospects for success. Imagine a population
that made thoughtful and informed judgments about the policy issues
and social questions of its day. It is unlikely that such a citizenry would
blindly accept whatever the authorities said was true or unquestioningly
comply with whatever those leaders commanded. Some have argued
that corporations that hope to succeed in a global high-tech world will
have to cultivate exactly the kind of internal culture that fosters strong
critical thinking.ii Fortunately, a great many leaders in government, business,
education, military, and religious organizations truly value critical
thinking. The quote from Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint

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