Established, since 1997, leading UK based training provider.
Celebrating 25 years in business! CPD Member - The CPD Certification Service ilm Recognised Provider

What is Critical Thinking?

What is Critical Thinking?

What is Critical Thinking?

What is the difference between normal thinking and critical thinking?

"Critical thinking" is a special way of thinking that is different from everyday usage.

Critical thinking is about NOT having an "open mind"; ie one that accepts any idea as being possible and having at least some merit.

Instead, critical thinking is about developing an "active mind", one that is seeking only valid, rational statements. Critical thinking is more rigorous.

Critical thinking is rigorous, logical thinking. It differentiates between facts and opinions. Critical thinking rejects any arbitrary or non-rational statements.

Critical thinking accepts statements that are the products of factual observation and logical inference.

Every experience is composed of five elements:

  1. Facts: Objective reality. Truth.
  2. Perception: Evidence of the senses; what you see, smell, taste, feel and hear.
  3. Identification: Understanding and giving correct identity to WHAT you have perceived.
  4. Evaluation: The proper (or improper) assessment of what you have identified.
  5. Response: The correct (or incorrect) reaction to the facts.

Personal Development : What is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking is the rejection of the arbitrary, the non-rational or illogical. The aim of critical thinking is to correctly identify and to logically evaluate the facts, and thus to ensure that your response is correct and consistent with the facts.

What is the opposite of critical thinking?

Broadly speaking, evaluations are of two types: rational or NOT rational. Many people evaluate facts by non-rational standards.

Here are a few WRONG ways by which people judge truth from falsehood:

1. The majority view.

They believe whatever is the majority opinion.

2. Appeal of status.

Believe the views of their favourite guru.

3. Selective perception.

Allowing into your mind only those facts that correspond to your existing view.

4. Arbitrary assertions.

Saying anything that pops into your head, on the premise that, "anything is possible".

5. Gut feeling / Intuition.

Using your "feelings" as a substitute for logic.

6. Cynicism.

The rejection of the whole idea of knowledge, under the premise that certain knowledge of anything is impossible.

The critical thinking skills.

Critical thinking is composed of six subset skills, each one of which is worthy of your consideration:

1. Identification.

Observation, measurement and identification of the facts.

How do you discover the raw facts?

2. Definition.

Understanding the key issues.

How do you define your key concepts and terms?

3. Analysis.

Breaking the whole into its constituent parts.

What are the constituent parts of the whole?

4. Synthesis.

Putting the parts together to build the whole.

How do the parts fit together to form the whole?

5. Integration.

Ensuring your conclusions fit into the bigger picture, without contradiction.

How does your conclusion fit into the broader context of knowledge?

6. Verification.

Checking for error.

How do you know you did not make a mistake?

Develop your critical thinking skills

Our Personal Development Training Course examines and teaches the art of critical thinking.

During the COVID-19 pandemic we are pleased to make this Personal Development training course available online, at a discounted price.

So take advantage of your self-isolation or furlough leave to improve yourself and your career prospects, for when the lockdown restrictions are lifted!

About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

Blogs by Email

Do you want to receive an email whenever we post a new blog? The blogs contain article 5-10 minutes long - ideal for reading during your coffee break!

Further Reading in Personal Development

  • Learn From Your Mistakes
    Criticism is good for you. Don't get upset when you receive negative feedback, instead use the criticism to make adaptive changes. Learn from your failures and you will be on track to succeed.
    Read Article >
  • Develop Your People Management Skills
    In order to manage people you need to use the right approach. You need to develop your people management skills.
    Read Article >
  • Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
    Imposter syndrome involves feeling that one's true abilities are inferior to their outward image, causing fears of being exposed as a fraud. This leads to self-doubt and anxiety, but it is possible to overcome these limiting beliefs.
    Read Article >
  • Continuous Improvement Mindset
    Continuous improvement emphasises the constant pursuit of betterment in any situation. It promotes the idea that one can maintain a positive mindset while actively seeking improvement, referred to as the "happy, but not satisfied" mindset.
    Read Article >
  • How to Develop Dr Carol Dweck's Growth Mindset
    Are you seeking to develop more of a growth mindset? Enhance your personal and professional development with our guide discussing Dweck’s growth mindset.
    Read Article >

Looking for Personal Development Training?

If you're looking to develop your Personal Development Skills, you may find this Personal Development Training Course beneficial:

Open Training Course Pricing and Availability

1 - 2 July
Leeds City
£900 +VAT
1 - 2 July
Southampton
£900 +VAT
8 - 9 July
Online - Teams
£900 +VAT
10 - 11 July
Manchester City
£900 +VAT
More dates and locations available
Save £100 on this course

Next Open Course Starts in 12 days, Leeds City, places available Book Now >