Peter Facione

Expert on Critical Thinking and Decision Making
Peter Facione
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Dr. Peter Facione is a principal at Measured Reasons LLC, a Los Angeles-based research and consulting firm supporting excellence in strategic thinking and leadership decision making.

In private business, Dr. Facione has worked as a strategic consultant with Stratus-Heery International and as managing partner of the California Academic Press. In academia, he served as Provost of Loyola University Chicago, Dean of College Arts and Sciences of Santa Clara University and as Dean of the School of Human Development and Community Service at California State University Fullerton.

Dr. Facione's consulting work has included long-term and short-term projects for several branches of the US military, various NGOs and government agencies, professional associations, national labs, and over sixty public and private universities and colleges throughout the US and around the world.

His latest book, THINK_Critically, was published by Pearson Education in January 2010. He co-authored the book, Thinking and Reasoning in Human Decision Making, with Dr. Noreen Facione in 2007, which addresses human decision making in contexts of risk and uncertainty, offering a cross-disciplinary method for the integrated analysis, evaluation and explanation. Their 2008 book, Critical Thinking and Clinical Reasoning in the Health Sciences, is an international teaching anthology.

Dr. Facione maintains an active speaking, writing, consulting and research agenda, with well over 150 publications including essays, books, articles, case studies, and educational testing tools. His tools for assessing reasoning are used around the world. These include the California Critical Thinking Skills Test, the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory, the Health Sciences Reasoning Test, the Business Critical Thinking Skills Test, the California Measure of Mental Motivation, the Legal Studies Reasoning Profile, the Military & Defense Critical Thinking Inventory, the Professional Judgment Rating Form, and the Holistic Critical Thinking Scoring Rubric.

He is frequently invited to present workshops or keynote at corporate and academic, national and international conferences. In addition to being called on for senior leadership coaching and collaborative strategic thinking, he assists with organizational planning, outcomes assessment, and program development.

Dr. Facione is internationally known for his work on the definition of critical thinking and the measurement of its core skills and habits of mind. He was the lead investigator on an international research project which articulated a cross-disciplinary expert consensus regarding the skills and habits of mind that constitute college level critical thinking. That research, which was sponsored by the American Philosophical Association, has formed the basis for numerous academic replication studies and government policy studies about critical thinking in the workplace, including research sponsored by the US Department of Education.

He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1971, his M.A. in Philosophy in 1967 from Michigan State University and his B.A. in Philosophy from Sacred Heart College in Detroit in 1966. His faculty work included teaching at Loyola University Chicago, Santa Clara, Cal State Fullerton, Bowling Green State, Michigan State and the University of Detroit. In 2005 he was a visiting professor at the University of Singapore and in 2006 at Mahidol University in Bangkok.

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Why Critical Thinking? - Peter Facione

“What Were We Thinking?”: 7 Simple Strategies For Successful Decision Making. From warfare to health care, timely, informed, thoughtful, and adaptive decision making is the key to success in every professional endeavor. In our businesses, as in our personal lives, with so much at stake and with so many unknowns, decision making can at times be daunting, risky and uncertain. Lives and fortunes can be on the line. Drawing on decades of work with the military, business, government, health care and higher education, Dr. Facione presents seven straightforward, practical strategies which individuals and groups can employ to improve their decision making. With video clips, mini cases, and interactive examples he illustrates the strategies and shows how each is connected to what science tells us about how human beings actually make decisions. Mindful of these strategies we are then able to reduce mistakes, improve decision making processes, and foster a culture of reasoned and informed decision making where we live and where we work.

Critical Thinking: What It Is & Why It Counts. Because professional staff and leaders at all levels must constantly solve problems and make good decisions, employers today seek to hire people with strong critical thinking. At every level of education, from K-12 through college, and in every professional field from law and government to healthcare, engineering, and the military people are concerned to develop stronger critical thinking. But some ask, why the word “critical?” Others ask, whether this is something people can actually learn, teach, and measure. And still others ask, what if we do not agree on an idea, does that make one of us a weak critical thinker? To answer these questions and many others, Dr. Facione’s draws his decades of experience measuring, researching, and teaching critical thinking. In his clear, commonsense and entertaining way of explains how critical thinking is connected to problem-solving and  decision-making in everyday life, and he offers practical suggestions for how to reinforce and improve critical thinking skills and habits of mind.

Why We Make Mistakes & What We Can Do About It. High stakes decision making is complex enough. Add the elements of risk and uncertainty and making mistakes can mean disaster. From Homer Simpson to Dilbert’s co-workers our popular culture shows us the humor and the cost of poor decision making at home and at work. But why do we humans make poor decisions even when we have lots of information at hand? And what can we do about to improve our decision making? 

Dr. Facione uses humor and expertise to illustrate how the misapplication of our shared human reactive thinking mechanisms leads individuals and groups to err. He offers practical techniques that enable you to recognize the threats posed by some of the most dangerous sources of human decision making error. And he describes workable strategies groups and individuals can use to protect against or mitigate these hazards.

Life Lessons Learned Teaching For Thinking. Research shows that children and adults can strengthen their critical thinking skills and habits of mind. But, as many already educators know, gains in critical thinking do not happen simply by chance, nor as a natural by-product of age or time spent in school. The teaching techniques make the difference. The good news is that the most powerful teaching strategies can be applied in all subject fields and used with students of all ages. For more than 40 years, Dr. Facione’s scholarly work has focused on teaching and measuring critical thinking in programs from K-12 through graduate and professional school. Using humor, practical examples, and straightforward terminology, Dr. Facione shares some life lessons learned and demonstrates effective techniques educators at all levels can use when teaching for thinking.

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