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Chapter 5. Critical Thinking Styles > Critical Thinking Style File

Critical Thinking Style File

Which critical thinking styles are demonstrated by the following stories? Remember that a person can be demonstrating more than one critical thinking style at a time.

1: The project management team is under pressure from top management to speed up its work. At the next team meeting, the team leader says,

“We should skip our usual action planning and just come up with some estimates for these jobs.”

Alexa, a team member, interjects,

“I don’t agree. If we do that, we could end up with disastrous results and waste more time. I suggest that we look at how we can speed up our meeting format without sacrificing important steps in our decision-making.”

Alexa’s critical thinking style(s)

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A: Alexa is demonstrating the critical thinking styles of the Navigator and the Warrior. She is looking ahead to choose the best path and is courageous in speaking up and not going along with the team leader.
2: Pascal says,

“I don’t think we should automatically go along with the consultant’s recommendations. We should ask more questions about how they came up with these results and what the consequences will be if we do or do not implement these changes. I’d be willing to meet with them and discuss all the details of how they came up with these suggestions.”

Pascal’s critical thinking style(s)

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A: Pascal is showing the critical thinking styles of the Student and the Detective. He wants to get more information and to inquire further about the basis for the recommendations before jumping into them.
3: Chandrika says to her manager, Steven,

“I can’t format the regulations until George gets me his part of the job. He’s always late and it is very frustrating. I think he’s just unmotivated and lazy.”

Steven answers,

“Before we jump to conclusions, let’s find out if there are other reasons why George is late. Perhaps there are factors we don’t know about. I wonder what his perspective is? I’d like to talk to George and get more information about what might be going on.”

Steven’s critical thinking style(s)

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A: Steven is using the critical thinking styles of the Explorer and the Detective. He is going to proactively seek the truth and ask relevant questions.
4: On Hans’ first day on the job, his new manager says,

“I know we hired you as a claims adjuster, but our budget analyst just quit and we need you to help out in this area as well. It will give you a new experience and be of great benefit to the company. We think you can handle it. What about it?”

After contemplating this idea for an hour, Hans goes to see his manager and says,

“Although I am excited about the claims adjuster work, I also would like to try taking on the additional responsibilities. I can’t tell you for sure if I will be able to handle both jobs, even on a temporary basis, but I would like to see how it goes. Let’s check in a week to see how it goes doing both, and maybe I’ll have a clearer perspective about how it might work out long term.”

Hans’ critical thinking style(s)

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A: Hans is showing the critical thinking styles of the Explorer and the Warrior. He is curious in looking for the truth and is willing to jump in and tackle a potentially difficult situation.




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