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Critical Thinking: Decision Making

The final session in our series is concerned with decision making, the thinking we do when choosing among alternative courses of action. The session begins by reviewing the rational model of choice that has motivated traditional decision making research and methodologies. We will discuss the shortcomings of this model in order to develop a more realistic account of human decision behavior. In addition to warning participants against common decision making mistakes, the session will offer practical recommendations.  Time permitting, participants will discuss shortcomings and propose advice for improving decision making in various everyday domains.

Please note that this last session will also be held at the Hamline Midland Library.  As usual, the formal presentation will begin at 3pm but participants are encouraged to come any time after 2:30pm to socialize.  Afterwards, those interested can join us for food, drink and more conversation at a nearby restaurant.

The Humanists of Minnesota is pleased to sponsor this integrated series of sessions--in essence, a course--entitled “Thinking Critically, Thinking Effectively” conducted by Jerry Smith, a professor at the University of Northern Iowa. It is based on a course he teaches to undergraduate business majors at UNI. As suggested by its title, the course covers traditional “critical thinking” topics, but it also addresses topics like creativity, problem solving, and decision making. Thus, broadly understood, it’s about “effective thinking.”

Critical thinking is an essential skill for the humanist lifestance, and many of us are quick to credit ourselves with that attribute.  But critical thinking is also a habit that needs to be  practiced and reinforced.  This in-depth "course" that emanated from the Habits of Humanism series last spring will help attendees foster good mental habits more consistently. While there is some “content-dependency” across sessions—later sessions might refer to material covered in earlier ones—interested participants can benefit from and are welcome to attend any sessions that fit their interests and schedules.

For more details on this course and a brief synopsis of each of the ten sessions, check out the Habits of Humanism page on our website at:

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  • Steven B.

    It gave me a lot of useful ideas, ways of looking at things I hadn't thought of.

    July 14, 2013

  • Kit E.

    This was the first I was able to attend. I'm sad it's the last in the series. The session was thought provoking.

    July 13, 2013

  • Chuck13


    July 13, 2013

  • Dick S.

    I really wanted to make this final session but I have, vacationing, out of town family arriving this afternoon.

    July 13, 2013

  • Rita P.


    July 12, 2013

  • Joe

    I'm going to try to make this after all. Looks interesting!

    July 9, 2013

  • Deborah J. N.

    I need to arrange transportation to and from...any idea how long the meeting will last?

    July 9, 2013

    • Audrey K.

      Hi Deb--We typically end at 4:45pm. The library closes at 5pm.

      July 9, 2013

    • George K.

      Some of us spoke last time about doing Korean food this month. The restaurant is rightt next to the library.

      July 9, 2013

  • Deborah J. N.

    Thanks Audrey...r u planning to join a group after for a meal? If yes, could I get a ride, then ask u to drop me back @ library for my bus pickup? If no, not to worry,just pls reply.

    July 9, 2013

  • Rita P.

    Can't make this one. But, thanks for letting me in! I appreciate it. Rita Phillips

    June 30, 2013

  • Joe

    I'd love to make this but I can't today--I hope it is offered again.

    June 15, 2013

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