Date of publication: 2017-07-08 20:04
Read below for a detailed definition of critical thinking, including examples of ways people use critical thinking, and a list of critical thinking skills.
There's a lot of overlapping and interdependence of skills in these areas, eg effective critical writers apply their critical reading skills to their own, as well as other people's work. And it's hard to see how you could evaluate an argument if you haven't been able to discern, in your reading, exactly what the line of reasoning is.
"Group think" results when people egocentrically attach themselves to a group. One can see this in both children and adults: My daddy is better than your daddy! My school (religion, country, race, etc.) is better than yours. Uncritical thinkers often confuse loyalty with always supporting and agreeing, even when the other person or the group is wrong.
What should be recognized as complex, intricate, ambiguous, or subtle is viewed as simple, elementary, clear, and obvious. For example, it is typically an oversimplification to view people or groups as all good or all bad, actions as always right or always wrong, one contributing factor as the cause, etc., and yet such beliefs are common.
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Think back to previous roles you have held, from past jobs to volunteer positions. Think about times when you had to analyze or evaluate materials to solve a problem. You can mention one of these examples in detail in your cover letter. You might also include bullet points in your resume that highlight your critical thinking experiences for different jobs.
In terms of developing my critical thinking, I look at the subject or topic matter and then I try to understand the basic background first. When I go to the reading I have to keep reminding myself whilst reading what the angle is of the author who has written this. Why have they said this? What are they attempting to make us question while reading it? Are they right in what they say ? Are they wrong in what they say? And at the end of the reading you should be able to have kept those things at the back of your mind and have developed your own critical thinking which may agree with what the author has said or completely the opposite but it really depends on looking at the angles of the text, the subject matter and what the subject matter means to you.
They also distinguish cases in which they can only guess from cases in which they can safely conclude. Critical thinkers recognize their tendency to make inferences that support their own egocentric or sociocentric world views and are therefore especially careful to evaluate inferences they make when their interests or desires are involved. Remember, every interpretation is based on inference, and we interpret every situation we are in.
It entails the examination of those structures or elements of thought implicit in all reasoning: purpose, problem, or question-at-issue assumptions concepts empirical grounding reasoning leading to conclusions implications and consequences objections from alternative viewpoints and frame of reference. Critical thinking — in being responsive to variable subject matter, issues, and purposes — is incorporated in a family of interwoven modes of thinking, among them: scientific thinking, mathematical thinking, historical thinking, anthropological thinking, economic thinking, moral thinking, and philosophical thinking.
They learn to question commonly accepted ways of understanding things and avoid uncritically accepting the viewpoints of their peers or society. They know what their perspectives are and can talk insightfully about them. To do this, they must create and explore their own beliefs, their own reasoning, and their own theories.
Critical thinkers try to find simplifying patterns and solutions, but not by misrepresentation or distortion. Seeing the difference between useful simplifications and misleading oversimplifications is important to critical thinking.
They do not approach written material as a collection of sentences, but as a whole, trying out various interpretations until one fits all of the work, rather than ignoring or distorting what doesn't fit their interpretation. They realize that everyone is capable of making mistakes and being wrong, including authors of textbooks.