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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
When finished, we'd appreciate it if you'd take a moment to send us your comments. Thank you!
©1998 The Center for Informed Decision Making