Critical thinking is more efficient when you apply a decision making model. They all seem to involve a different number of steps. The model you choose needs to be one that will work the best for you without being too technical or too short sighted. Sometimes combining models may be what is best for you and your situation.
Eight Step Ethical Decision-Making Model
The following Eight Step Ethical Decision-Making Model comes from the work of Corey et al.(1998) It centers a lot around ethics in decision making and how a code of ethics can help to make decisions. The steps are identified as follows:
Step 1: Identify the problem.
Step 2: Identify the potential issues involved.
Step 3: Review relevant ethical guidelines.
Step 4: Know relevant laws and regulations.
Step 5: Obtain consultation.
Step 6: Consider possible and probable courses of action.
Step 7: List the consequences of the probable courses of action.
Step 8: Decide on what appears to be the best course of action.
This model is more based on making ethical decisions and in my opinion is to drawn out and technical. If you have a good ethical background and ethics have helped you cancel out certain decisions before you get to the point where you have to consciously bring ethics into the decision making then this model would not help. This model would be more helpful in making decisions between two choices of which one is something you are apparently questioning, since you are feeling the need to bring laws, guidelines and outside consultation into the making of the decision.
7 Step Decision-Making Model
The next model is called a 7 Step Decision-Making Model from UNF. This model is set up to help with the "career decision-making process."(University of Northern Florida - Date) The steps are identified as follows:
Step 1: Identify the decision to be made.
Step 2: Know yourself.
Step 3: Begin identifying options.
Step 4: Gather information and data.
Step 5: Evaluate options that will solve the problem.
Step 6: Select one of the options.
Step 7: Design a course of action to implement the decision.
This model has been created to help decide on college majors, but it can also be used for many critical decisions you need to make. It is not as limiting as the 8 step model based mostly on ethics.
My Model Decision
This one not only has seven steps but also helps you to understand the model and how to adapt it for your needs, whereas the eight step model just assumed that you know how to define each step. For these reasons I am choosing to use the seven step model for the focus of my paper.
How the 7 Step Model is Used
Step 1 has you identify the decision to be made. You need to think through and decide what the decision is that you need to make. Step 2 is to "know yourself." You need to do a self-assessment to know about yourself. Four of the areas you may want to identify are your skills, interests, values, and personality. Step 3 begins by identifying your options and listing what they are. Step 4 has you gather data and information on the options so you can research them more intensely. In Step 5 you will evaluate the options so you can identify the pros and cons, values and needs, the risks involved in each. Step 6 has you decide on one of the options based on the information that you gathered and evaluated. In Step 7 you are to design a course of action to put into practice the decision you have chosen.
Using the 7 Step Model to help make an Employment Decision
I used the 7 step model to help with a few job positions I wanted to apply for that will be decided at different time. Did I want an immediate job right now or to try harder to get a job that will be available in a few weeks but will pay more?
Step 1: Decide if I want to go back to substitute teaching that will be done in May or try for a government job that will be more long lasting but will not be available until...
References: An Ethical Decision-Making Model. Corey. Located on December 21, 2004 at http://soeweb.syr.edu/chs/OnlineField/Ethics/Decision.htm
7- step Decision-Making Model. R. Roberts, Director, University of Northern Florida Career Services. Located online on December 21, 2004 at http://www.unf.edu/dept/cdc/servixes/decisio.htm
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