When examining the relationship between critical thinking and decision making, there are a few questions that must be answered. Many people tend to correlate the two intermittently. Often times the two will work hand-in-hand in order to produce a better and more knowledgeable outcome. The following questions will explore what makes critical thinking and decision making tick.

1) What is critical thinking? According to Encarta Dictionaries, critical thinking is defined as disciplined intellectual criticism that combines research, knowledge of historical context, and balanced judgment. 2) What is decision -making? The decision-making process is defined by Encarta Dictionaries, as the process of making choices or reaching conclusions, especially on important political or business matters. 3) How do the materials for this course define critical thinking and decision making? Critical thinking is defined, per the course materials, as an awareness of a set of interrelated critical questions, the ability to ask and answer critical questions at appropriate times, and a desire to actively use the critical questions. Meanwhile, the steps taken in the decision making process are defined by the course materials as: 1) Identifying the problem 2) Define criteria, goals and objectives 3) Evaluate effect of the problem 4) Identify causes of the problem 5) Frame alternatives 6) Evaluate impacts of alternatives 7) Make the decision 8) Implement decision 9) Measure impacts 4) What do you think they are? In my opinion, critical thinking is when a person takes their time and personal knowledge to analyze a problem / situation to its fullest extent by intently researching information and its sources in detail. Meanwhile, decision making is the process of taking a problem / question and dissecting it until a well researched and thought-out conclusion has been made. 5) How do they relate to each other? Critical thinking relates to decision making in such a way that by using one's critical thinking skills, a person is therefore able to make a more sound decision and implement said decision more effectively.

6) What are the benefits of being a critical thinker? The benefits of being a critical thinker are the abilities to: 1) Distinguish between verifiable facts and value claims 2) Determine the reliability of a source 3) Determine the factual accuracy of a statement 4) Distinguish relevant from irrelevant information, claims, or reasons 5) Detect bias 6) Identify unstated assumptions 7) Identify ambiguous or equivocal claims or arguments 8) Recognize logical inconsistencies or fallacies in a line of reasoning 9) Distinguish between warranted or unwarranted claims 10) Determine the strength of an argument. 7) How do you see these processes present or absent in your work? Being the intermediary between a loan officer and a processor, I only deal with the facts of a person's financial history and am not forced to delve into their personal lives or problems. I deal primarily with facts of a loan and numbers that come along with the transaction. However, when the loan officer is dealing with the loan, he or she must use his or her critical thinking skills and decision making skills when it comes to discerning as to whether or not a person will or will not qualify for a loan. During this time the loan officer weighs multiple factors such as credit scores and finances and then must make the decision if the person is worth the risk of working on.