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    Critical thinking, Problem Formulation & Problem Statement

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    What forces of influence should be considered while identifying a problem through critical thinking?

    What methods can be used during problem formulation?

    What is a problem statement?

    How can a problem statement be formulated so that it is considerate of stakeholders' perspectives?

    What is the difference between an opportunity and a problem?

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    Let's take a closer look at these interesting questions!


    1. What forces of influence should be considered while identifying a problem through critical thinking?

    Forces of influence impacting the problem definition might be the resources and time that is available.

    Specifically when identifying a problem through critical thinking, biases and assumptions need to be identified and set aside that have the potential to influence the overall decision-making process negatively. There are several factors identified as mental or cognitive shortcuts that can impact the decisions making process in problem identification. Do the following to avoid this influence:
    ? Identify an individual's values and biases (including your own)
    ? Explore issues from multiple perspectives & understand multiple perspectives
    ? Examine your existing beliefs, attitudes, and opinions. Why do you think so? What evidence do you have to support that opinion?

    Therefore, it is essential to evaluate differing viewpoints, which is an essential critical thinking skill because it enables you to pull together divergent ideas and integrate differing, even contradictory, sources (http://academic.cuesta.edu/acasupp/as/406.htm) and limit any biases and negative influences on the decision making process by:

    ? Deliberately put aside or suspend temporarily what you already believe about a particular issue.
    ? Discover what similarities and differences exist among the various viewpoints.
    ? Identify the assumptions on which each view is based.
    ? Look for and evaluate evidence that suggests the viewpoint is well thought out.
    ? To overcome the natural tendency to pay more attention to points of view with which you agree and treat opposing viewpoints superficially, deliberately spend more time reading, thinking about, and examining ideas that differ from your own.
    ? To analyze particularly complex, difficult, or very similar viewpoints, talk about the problem from various angles, etc. (http://academic.cuesta.edu/acasupp/as/406.htm).

    2. What methods can be used during problem formulation?

    During problem formulation, the second step of the problem solving model is analyze the problem - analyzing the problem involves learning as much as you can about it. ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution thoroughly responds to the questions on various topics, including critical thinking, problem formulation, problem statement and the difference between an opportunity and a problem.