The idea of "critical juncture" in the analysis of path-dependent institutions refers to times of uncertainty in which the actions of major actors are causally decisive for the choosing of one path of institutional evolution over other feasible paths. Critical moments can be identified by their presence of surprise: some significant change occurs that was not expected by any of the participants in the game.
Critical moments can also be characterized as points when alternatives are mutually exclusive. At such points, an institution's survival depends on who moves first. If one player takes action first, they win; if both players play it safe, then no agreement will be reached and the game ends in a draw.
Finally, critical moments can be seen as points where escalation is possible. At these times, players have the option of pushing the situation further out of balance, which may lead to greater instability. Escalation can occur through violence between parties (e.g., war), but it can also happen without fighting via democratic means (e.g., voting).
Critical moments can arise due to changes in external circumstances or due to decisions made by important players within the system. For example, a critical moment can arise due to the decision of a leader to promote themselves or someone else.
The term "critical factors" refers to elements that are vital in the decision-making process. These elements are critical in assessing whether a decision is successful or unsuccessful. The identification and application of important aspects will assure the success of an individual's choice. Without these factors, a choice has no value and cannot be considered effective.
Critical factors can be divided into two categories: subjective and objective. Subjective factors include those characteristics that only humans can judge, such as personality traits or skills. Objective factors are those that can be quantified with certainty, such as experience or education. It is not possible to measure some qualities, such as personal opinion or creativity, so they do not qualify as objective factors but as critical factors nonetheless. The distinction is important because it allows us to identify which types of decisions require human judgment rather than empirical data. For example, if all you need to determine is how many units your product needs to sell in order to be profitable, this could be done by counting the number of units sold and comparing it to the cost of production; there would be no need for a salesperson because this is an objective factor that can be calculated accurately. However, if we were trying to select between two candidates for a job, this would be a subjective decision and would require interviewing both people.
Subjective factors are always present in any choice situation and can never be omitted without affecting the quality of the decision made.
The goal of critical inquiry is to change these alienating and restricting social situations. As a result, critical research philosophy varies from positivist and interpretative research philosophies, which are both "content to forecast or explain the current quo" (Orlikowski and Baroudi 1991, p. 3). Rather than seeking merely to describe what is, critical researchers aim to transform society through activism, scholarship, and practice.
Critical research aims to create change by exposing problems with the status quo and providing alternatives. It seeks to move us toward a more just, equitable, and sustainable world by challenging stereotypes, prejudices, and oppression everywhere they appear.
Critical research questions have the potential to advance human knowledge and benefit society as a whole. They challenge assumptions about how things should be done or what matters most; they point out flaws in existing practices or systems; and they propose new ways forward.
Questions that lead to critical research tend to focus on issues such as power differentials, injustices, prejudices, and inequalities. These questions often arise because people want to know "why is it like this?" or "what can I do about it?". Critical researchers try to answer these questions by looking at the underlying causes of an issue or problem and by proposing alternative solutions or strategies for changing things.
In addition to asking why things are the way they are, critical researchers also question what things are like this or do.
The review of a theory, scenario, statement, or other items with the goal of supporting or disproving current paradigms and providing a superior alternative view is referred to as critical assessment. The practice of this activity is called critical thinking.
Critical assessment involves questioning assumptions, examining evidence, and considering alternatives before coming to a conclusion. It is not simply repeating what others have said about their views nor is it merely finding faults with others' work. Critical assessment is an iterative process that often leads to new ideas or insights being developed or discarded as possibilities.
In science, research studies that critically examine existing knowledge are important for advancing our understanding of reality. Scientists use their observations to build theories that attempt to explain what they observe. These theories can then be tested by further research or used in making real-life applications.
In history, critical assessment means analyzing events from different perspectives and trying to come to conclusions about what really happened. History is full of controversies - some people believe one thing while others believe something else - which shows that history isn't exactly clear cut and cannot be understood solely from first-hand sources. Critical assessment allows historians to check facts against each other's accounts and come up with the most likely version of events.
1. adjectival phrase It is crucial to recognize a significant moment, element, or circumstance. The event occurred at a key juncture in the campaign. Its impact will be felt for some time to come. This usage is commonly called poetic license.
2. noun A significant moment in time; a pivotal point: a time of great danger and uncertainty.
3. adjective Affecting or concerning an important matter or issue: a critical remark.
4. adj. Critically ill or injured people need immediate medical help if they are to have any chance of recovery. Critical times can also be referred to as life-threatening situations.
5. adj. Relating to or requiring careful consideration or judgment: a critical decision.
6. adj. Important; significant: a critical load of cargo.
7. adj. Affecting or involving youth: a critical age.
8. adj. Affecting or involving adults: a critical number.
9. adj. Concerned with children's education: a critical year in our school's history.
10. adj. Concerning religion: a critical period in church history.
The usual operating condition of a nuclear reactor in which nuclear fuel supports a fission chain reaction is referred to as criticality. When each fission produces a sufficient amount of neutrons to maintain a continuing sequence of nuclear reactions, a reactor reaches criticality (and is called to be critical). At this point, additional nuclear fuel can be added to the core and more power will be produced than what is used to drive the pump that supplies water to the core. The ratio of generated heat to consumed energy is high, and this allows a large fraction of the uranium in the fuel to be converted into plutonium.
A reactor is said to be operating at or near critical mass when it generates nearly as much energy as is required to cause further fissions. Criticality implies that there is no excess capacity for producing more energy than is being consumed. However, since some energy is lost in the form of radiation and some material is burned up, not all of the available energy is used entirely for generating electricity. A reactor is considered to be operating under partial load conditions if less energy is being generated than is being consumed. Under these conditions, some of the uranium in the fuel remains un-fertilized and more of it is turned into plutonium.
Criticality can only be achieved if the neutron flux reaching the fuel is sufficiently high. This requires that the proportion of the nuclear fuel that is exposed to the neutron stream be large enough to ensure adequate absorption of thermal neutrons.