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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.

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