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Five-Step Model of Problem Solving

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List the five steps in the model for problem solving from Ch. 6 of Critical Thinking in Everyday Life. Write a brief description of each in your own words. Cite any sources you use.

Step 1: Identify the problem
Take the time to identify exactly what difficulty repeats itself. Describe it in detail so that you get a clear picture of who or what the issue is to your problem. Step 2: Discover the causes of the problem

Why does the problem occur? Identifying the problem doesn’t tell you the cause. You have to dig deeper into the problem to find out the what is causing the problem. Finding the cause will suggest solutions. Step 3: Create options to Solve the Problem

Don’t’ settle for your first instinct when problem-solving. Think of all the possibilities for solving a problem. Once you have come up with a creative approach, you need to use your critical thinking skills to evaluate which option is the best one to solve the problem. Step 4: Evaluate the Best Options to Solve the Problems

Pick the one option that seems most likely to solve the problem and seems least likely to cause further problems. Use this metric to measure all of the possible options and settle on one. Once you make your decision, commit fully to it and do not second-guess yourself. Step 5: Act, Monitor, and Modify Selected Options

Measure the effects of the option you choose. Watch to see if it solves the previous difficulty, and make sure it does not present new difficulties. If your monitoring reveals that your choice of option was incorrect, you can switch immediately to a new solution.

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