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Supporting Critical Thinking with Critiquing Systems in Military C2 Environments

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There is a growing interest for the integration of critical thinking, defined as the capacity of thinking about ones own reasoning, into military practices. In this paper, we discuss the potential of critiquing systems critics - software programs that provide a critique of the user-generated solution - for training critical thinking skills. More specifically, we discuss the use of two types of critics, generic and experiential, which respectively use doctrine-related and case-related knowledge. The generic critic applies general knowledge about standard practices, while the experiential critic makes the practitioner consider distributional data, as provided by case bases and lessons learned. This paper discusses the type of issues that can thus be addressed. The aim of the present paper is to show the usefulness of critiquing systems critics for supporting critical reasoning in the military context. We argue here that these advisory systems can, on the one hand, provide generic critiques that would remind the user of general doctrine-related knowledge, and on the other hand, bring him, by means of experiential critics, to consider relevant knowledge retrieved from similar cases and lessons learned. The paper is organized as follows first, we outline the principles of critical thinking as discussed in relevant literature Section 2, and then we compare the dynamics of collaborative criticism dialogues in the human-critic setting with the internalized dialogue of critical reasoning Section 3. In Section 4, we discuss the type of judgment biases that the use of critics can correct. Next, we show how generic critics can guide the user in his problem solving process by reminding him of relevant issues and factors Section 5 and how the experiential critic, using case-based reasoning and lessons learned, can make the user consider or learn from previously experienced cases Section 6.

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  • Psychology
  • Command, Control and Communications Systems

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