Critical Thinking and Decision Analysis
The overall objective of this course is to improve the student’s abilities in both critical thinking and decision- making. Critical thinking is the art of analyzing and evaluating thinking and argument with the purpose of improving it. Decision-making can be defined as the process of identifying alternatives, evaluating the alternatives, and choosing between the alternatives. Critical thinking and decision-making processes are intertwined. The critical thinking segment of this course provides a guide to the analysis, reconstruction, and evaluation of arguments designed to help students distinguish good reasoning from bad. The decision-making segment shows how decision analysis can be applied so that decisions are more effective by providing numerous usable decision analysis approaches.
Course Learning Outcomes
Recognize arguments in academic, literary, and popular prose.
Identify the main conclusions of arguments.
Express the logical structures of arguments.
Identify assumptions and unstated premises in argumentative writing.
Evaluate the credibility and persuasiveness of arguments.
Identify common fallacies in reasoning.
Differentiate between necessary and sufficient conditions.
Interpret the formal validity of deductive arguments and the inductive strength of probabilistic arguments.
Explain how quantitative tools and analysis may lead to improved decision-making.
Identify which decision-making situations are most appropriate for the application of decision analysis.
Explain the key steps in the decision analysis process.
Demonstrate use of SMART for decision-making problems.
Develop decision trees and influence diagrams and use them to solve decision problems under uncertainty.
Discuss how probability can be used to provide a measure of uncertainty.
Explain how probability can be applied to problems where a decision has to be made under conditions of uncertainty.