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Problem Solving

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On each and every coming day we do encounter problems. Every time we come across a problem, we seek to find a solution to this problem by engaging in thinking in order for us to come up with a solution (Anonymous: Problem solving, 2010). Problems range from simple ones to very much complicated ones. In whichever the case, this calls for coming up with an appropriate solution which is obtained through thinking. Some of the methods of thinking that help in solving the problems are persuasive thinking and scientific thinking. In this paper, two different situations are going to be presented. In the first situation, there is a problem whose solution was obtained through engaging in persuasive thinking and the other situation involves a problem whose solution is obtained through engaging in scientific thinking.

Using Persuasive thinking in problem solving

According to Anonymous (Critical thinking essay, 2005), “persuasive thinking problem solving style involves getting the audience to believe, to go along, or act in accordance with what you want” (Para, 8). Basing on this style of thinking, in the case where one is a persuader who is effective, basically, this person can be able to convince each and every person around him or her to come to agree with him concerning any issue.

A situation I have ever faced that presented a problem whose solving called for persuasive thinking is the case where there has been discrimination among the people around me on the basis of race (racism). Some people saw others as being lesser human beings. In employing the persuasive thinking style, facts and truths were presented to the people who engaged in discriminating others on the basis of skin color. This involved letting people to understand that the skin color has nothing to do with intelligence, leadership capabilities, among other issues. Examples were given of those people who belonged to the group that was deemed to be inferior who had emerged to be great leaders and achieved high academic standards. Through effective persuading of the people, they came to agree with me that there was no need for discriminating each other because the skin color had nothing to do with the internal make up of a human being.

Using scientific thinking in problem solving

Scientific thinking involves four steps. The first step that is following in this process of thinking is the identification of the problem and this is followed by collecting the information. Thereafter, hypotheses or opinions are formed. The final step is making or drawing conclusions (Careers Skills Library, 1998).

The problem encountered which I tried to solve using the scientific thinking technique was a situation where some students in our school ate hot dogs and fell sick and they started vomiting. Basing on this method of thinking, I did not rush in to drawing the conclusions but rather started with clearly identifying the problem. The first step was to identify the problem and in this case; the students are sick and there is need to find out what might have caused this.

The next step was to carry out investigations. Several questions were presented to enable in guiding the investigation. Among these questions were; did all the students who ate the hot dogs from the kitchen fall sick. Is there any contaminant near the kitchen? Did any of the kitchen staffs fall sick after consuming the same food?

This was followed by forming a hypothesis and the hypothesis was that the consumption of the hot dogs was responsible for the sickness of the students. Before drawing the conclusion, the hypothesis was tested. A substance analysis was run on the hot dogs but it was found that they were clean. The hypothesis was shifted; since it was only one person who prepared the hot dogs, private investigations were carried out and it was found that the man was having flu and coughed without covering the mouth. At last this was the solution.

Conclusion

Problems are solved by engaging in clear thinking. The problem solving style of thinking depends on the situation. There are situations that call for persuasive thinking and those that call for scientific thinking. However, in whichever the case, the final goal is to obtain a solution to the problem at hand. 

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