Assessment Tools

Within all of the sections below, you'll find that key topics and concepts are conveniently hotlinked to information at other locations. Links in regular type go to places within the CIDM site, while links in italics will take you to other sites around the world. Use your browser's "Back" button to return from your travels.

 

Basic Mental Building Blocks...

We have developed a series of modules to help you flex your mental muscles, especially in the areas of decision making and critical thinking. Each module discusses key concepts in a direct, yet simple manner. An easy-reference summary and "crib sheet" are included, along with on- and off-Net references that can be perused or even purchased with a click of your mouse.

 
Reasoning
It's not just what you say, but how you say it. Both the content and the context of an argument must be deciphered when listening to, reading or discussing a particular point of view. Learn how to cut through the rhetoric and get to the core of an issue.
Sound Science
How can you tell if a study's conclusions are valid? Do all of those fancy footnotes really mean anything? Learn how to separate the scientific gems from the unscientific junk.
Statistics
Simply stated, statistics are everywhere. But on average, most of us don't really know our mean from our mode. Take a peek and learn how to keep the numerical wool from being pulled over your eyes.
Thinking About Risk
Local authorities tell you that it's safe to swim in the river and eat the fish. Environmental groups insist that both activities are unsafe. A basic comprehension of risk can help you understand both viewpoints and to decide for yourself.

 

The Next Level Up...

Once you've mastered the basics, it's time to put those skills to good use. Here are a few easy-to-understand modules that help explain critical concepts in economics, ecology, quantitative decision making and public policy. Summaries, "crib sheets" and references are included.

Economics
Did you know that the "invisible hand" which controls commerce was Adam Smith's way of comparing the human economy to the natural economy on which it is modeled? A basic understanding of the "dismal science" will help you provide better and more accurate information while demanding the same of others.
 
Ecology and the Environment
The science of ecology is still in its infancy, but there is much that has been learned. Significantly, a great deal of what we know about ecology comes from our knowledge of other natural sciences such as biology, chemistry and physics. As you'll soon find out, these fields, and all of the living and non-living things they study, are truly all connected.
 
Quantitative Decision Making (Under Construction)
What do you get when you combine statistics and probability, game theory, and risk measurement? The answer is new tools and models designed to increase the success rate of complex decision-making tasks. We'll be taking a look at Life Cycle Assessment, Cost/Benefit Analysis, Full Cost Accounting and Quantitative Risk Assessment, to name a few of today's most promising methodologies.
 
Public Policy (Under Construction)
Creating public policy is a complex, time-consuming process. An understanding of this process, along with the application of skills and tools provided in other modules, can help to significantly increase your ability to ensure that future policies will be both effective and efficient.
 

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1998 The Center for Informed Decision Making