Unit 1: Discussion
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Let us use an example to further illustrate the five steps of critical thinking methodology. Suppose you are a manager of a restaurant owned by a local businesswoman. Samir, one of your waitstaff, has persistently failed to show up for shifts without giving any meaningful reason. Since Samir is usually reliable, you are puzzled by the extent of his absenteeism. Because you do not have all the facts, you decide to use critical thinking skills to investigate the real source of the problem.
The next time Samir comes to work, you observe the situation objectively, suspending all bias and judgment. You notice that he is abrupt with customers, does not attempt to communicate with his fellow colleagues, and walks across the restaurant with a heavy gait. This helps you to interpret the situation better, giving you enough evidence to deduce that your employee is not happy. You might analyze these effects and think of a way to deal with the behavior. What should you do? You decide to evaluate the situation and assess the consequences of trying to change his behavior. Based on his performance, your boss, Jessica, the restaurant owner, tells you to fire Samir but you explain to your boss why you believe an attempt to change his behavior might be justified and she agrees to give Samir another chance.
You set up a meeting with Samir to discover the reasons behind his unexplained absences and unmotivated behavior at work. Samir apologizes and tells you he has become dissatisfied with his job and would much rather work on the front desk of the restaurant, greeting customers and taking reservations. He says he has been afraid to tell you this because he has been worried he would be letting you down by switching roles. You explain that his absences have already disappointed you but that you are willing to give him a second chance. Following a trial period at the front desk, Samir immediately becomes more motivated and his attendance is impeccable.
Read the following article to answer the discussion questions (link below).
Helsdingen, A. S., Van Den Bosch, K., Van Gog, T., & Van Merriënboer, J. J. G. (2010). The Effects of Critical Thinking Instruction on Training Complex Decision Making. Human Factors, 52(4), 537-545.
“The effects of critical thinking instruction on training complex decision making” (Links to an external site.)
Why are decision making processes important? Why are decision making outcomes important? Justify your answer.
Which do you think is more important: decision making processes or decision making outcomes? Justify your answer.
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