Critical Thinking

What are the characteristics of a problem and how might a problem present itself? Also, how should a problem be investigated and identified?

Problems present themselves in different forms, and people perceive the problem and solution differently. Problems often present themselves in a situation is forced in which there are alternative solutions, and one has to make a decision. The second question really has no one answer, it depends on the situation, the cost involved, and how important it is to make the "right" decision. Often we used the rule of expediency on those.

posted by bobpursley
2. Another way at looking at decision making is a risk based approach, which is a way of looking at making the 'right decision'. You can assign a 'risk category' to getting the answer wrong. You might choose A=death; B=Serious Injury; C=Get fired, fail; D=minor Injury; E=no consequence. I am sure you can add to the list in terms of money, reputation, environment depending on the problem.

How you solve the problem (time, resources etc) might then depend on the risk of getting the answer wrong. For a problem where there is no consequence (class E risk in my list above) if you get the answer wrong, you might guess. If the wrong answer could cause you serious injury then you might take longer to think about it and perhaps get advice?

There are quite a lot of books on this topic.

posted by Dr Russ

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