Thinking is very important in life. It helps in decision-making because all thinking pursues a purpose. Logical thinking enables one to think relevantly about the purpose that started the thinking. Thinking is part of our way of life because even in simple matters such as tying shoelaces thinking is involved. This paper will endeavor to look at logical and critical thinking in the decision-making process by discussing workplace examples that highlight each of the three different types of thinking- logical thinking, creative thinking, and scientific thinking.
Thinking has parts and these parts are essential in reasoning. Whenever we think, we use them regardless of poor or proper reasoning. The elements of thinking work together to enable an individual to develop logical thinking. This is because an individual can identify flaws in his or her thinking once they identify the elements of reasoning. In reasoning, one draws conclusions or makes decisions after considering reasons (Elder & Richard, 2006, p. 87) In reasoning, one tries to achieve a “certain purpose within a point of view using concepts” (Elder & Richard, 2006, p. 87). In addition, one focuses on an issue or question and uses available information to arrive at a conclusion based on some assumptions that have an implication no matter the decision made.
Creativity is vital in critical thinking because it has the role of producing the thoughts we think with for instance, in a workplace the management may look into the way communication is handled in an organization and seek to improve it if they discover there has been a communication breakdown and employees at the lower level feel left out. When creative thinking takes, place change occurs and new results are achieved.
Creativity takes diverse forms and cannot be limited to one area. It takes place in physics, mathematics, painting, music, the workplace, and other areas. Creativity is not limited to certain individuals everyone thinks creatively at one time or another. However, our brain and personal barriers can limit creative thinking. In workplaces, creative thinking can be limited when the employees do not get a chance to air their views about issues in an organization or company. The employees thus, never come up with new ideas because the organization may be rigid to change. On the other hand, in workplaces that allow employees to think creatively great results are achieved because the employees get an opportunity to try out the ideas they have on improving their work. Such employees have courage and freedom instead of fear that discourages creative thinking (Kirby & Goodpaster, 2007, p. 125- 7).
Creativity begins with brainstorming, which allows the mind to move from one thought to another. It enables one to go past the normal lines of thinking by leading to unconventional thinking. For example, in a workplace, brainstorming is effective when done individually and then ideas shared in a group. ((Kirby & Goodpaster, 2007, p. 132).
Logical thinking is important in critical thinking. Logical thinking has two elements deductive and inductive logic. In deductive thinking, one begins with two premises and draws a conclusion based on the premises. A syllogism is a basic form of deductive logic. For deductive thinking to be logical, these rules must be followed. One, when one of the premises is negative the conclusion made must also be negative. Two when both premises are positive so must be the conclusion. Three when one of the premises is particular the conclusion should follow suit. Four if one premise is singular then the conclusion must be singular (Kirby & Goodpaster, 2007, p. 182).
Inductive reasoning goes beyond deductive reasoning. In inductive reasoning, we begin with evidence or observation and then draw conclusions. The premise can be challenged unlike in deductive reasoning. More importantly in a workplace, both deductive and inductive reasoning are necessary when making decisions concerning the business.
Science involves inquiry and this explains the many discoveries made in the scientific fields. In scientific inquiry, inductive thinking is used and the process takes four steps- observation, hypothesis formulation, experimentation, and verification ((Kirby & Goodpaster, 2007, p. 221). The scientific method begins with observation, which forms the basis of all reasoning. Through observation, individuals ask questions about the things observed and this leads to a desire to find out why. This wondering leads to a cause-and-effect relationship ((Kirby & Goodpaster, 2007, p. 222). In a workplace, observations can be done when the organization wants to promote some individuals. A certain individual’s behavior is observed and based on the observations a conclusion on the suitability of that individual for the promotion. When doing researches in an organization scientific thinking would be more appropriate to use.
Logical and critical thinking is essential for every individual. It helps one to make rational decisions that spare one many problems that may arise from making illogical decisions. Therefore, when we become critical thinkers we are able to assess information using experiences, facts, and data. We act from a point of knowledge when we think critically about a certain issue because we are able to think through the implications.
Elder, L. & Richard, P. (2006). Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life. 2nd ed.: New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
Kirby, R.G. & Goodpaster, R.J. (2007). Thinking. 4th ed. :New Jersey: Pearson Prentice-Hall.