Critical Thinking Training for the Battlefield


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This training aims to teach officers how to think critically and to make better decisions on the battlefield. It is not a general course on logic, decision making, or critical thinking that just happens to use military examples. The lessons it teaches are fully embedded in realistic Army contexts and are motivated by tasks and challenges that arise in that context. There are no abstract rules that officers must learn and then figure out how to translate and apply to the military field.

Nevertheless, this training is based on a methodology that can be applied to any area of decision making, including business. The training is rooted solidly in theories and research in a wide variety of fields, including

(i) Normative work in logic and philosophy; rhetoric and informal logic; and decision theory (see, for example, Non-Monotonic Probablist; Computational Models).

(ii) Empirical research on problem solving, creativity, logical reasoning, and decision making, in addition to work on causal and story-based knowledge representation (see, for example, Recognition / Meacognition model; Mental Models).

References are given in the final section of the training. They include CTI's own work on mental models and on reflective processes that critique and correct mental models.

This training was enthusiastically reviewed by the dean of the Command and General Staff College, the Director of the Center for Army Tactics, and by several instructors. This training was utilized in the spring of 1999 in a CGSC course on advanced tactics.

As a result of this work, CTI was awarded the US Army Small Business Innovation Research Program 1999 SBIR Phase II Quality Award, one of only five for the year 1999.

See also:

See information below before starting the training.

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Requirements and Options

The training system will work best with Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or above. That browser can be downloaded free from Microsoft Corporation.

When you start the training system, the training screen will resize depending on the resolution of your monitor. The contents will look best at 1024 x 768 resolution or better, but should be readable in resolutions as low as 640 x 480.

The training screen will automatically maximize itself on your monitor. You can reduce the size or exit by selecting the standard Windows controls in the upper right corner of that screen.

The training screen will be divided into a table of contents frame (on the left) and a training content frame (on the right). It should not be necessary to scroll to see the training content frame. However, if you cannot view the training content frame without scrolling, you can reduce the size of the table of contents frame by dragging its border.

Acknowledgements & Points of Contact

The Battlefield Critcal Thinking Training is a product of research conducted by Cognitive Technologies, Inc. under sponsorship of the Army Research Institute, Fort Leavenworth Field Unit, Contract No. DOSW01-97-C-0038. The Unit Chief is Dr. Stanley M. Halpin. The scientific monitor for this work, and a technical collaborator, was Dr. Sharon L. Riedel.

Address inquiries to:

Marvin Cohen (Principal Investigator)
Cognitive Technologies, Inc.
4200 Lorcom Lane Arlington, VA 22207
(703) 524 - 4331

All materials, complete or otherwise, pertaining to this course material, including but not limited to: graphics, textual content, and source code, are the sole property of Cognitive Technologies Inc., unless otherwise noted. Any duplication, redistribution, modification, or sale of said materials is expressly prohibited without prior written consent of CTI. The United States Government may have specific usage rights.


Copyright © 2000-2011 Cognitive Technologies, Inc.
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