In Short

When faced with a situation that calls for a decision, do not ignore your feelings. As you go through the logical steps toward making a choice, acknowledge emotions and, based on the type, decide whether they are appropriate to include in the decision-making process. Even negative feelings, such as bias and stereotyping, need to be recognized so you can consciously exclude them. Acknowledging emotions, rather than letting them take over, or trying to ignore them, will help you improve your critical thinking skills.

Skill Building Until Next Time

■ The next time you attend a sporting event, or watch one on television, pay attention to the fans when the umpire or referee makes a call. Do the fans decide rationally whether the call is fair or not? How do they let their emotions participate in the way they behave?

■ Think of a situation that makes you angry, whether it is listening to an opposing political group's speeches, reading a particular columnist in the newspaper, or even going to a sale at your favorite store in which the merchandise was marked up in price before it was marked down. How could you allow your emotions to negatively influence the situation? How could you use them positively?

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