Tag: critical thinking


Being A Critical Thinker

Being a Critical Thinker

A critical thinker will gather relevant information in order to systematically analyze issues from a wide variety of perspectives. They will use logic and reasoning to evaluate the information. They will question ideas and assumptions rather than accepting them at face value. A critical thinker will keep an open mind as they separate facts from opinions. They will critically judge the validity of arguments and ideas in order to form a fair and unbiased opinion. Lastly, they will change their mind if they discover they were wrong.

 

Being a critical thinker involves the ability to:

  • question
  • use logic
  • remain objective
  • examine
  • analyze
  • interpret
  • evaluate
  • reason
  • reflect

 

 

Critical Thinking Defined

Critical thinking is the process of actively analyzing, assessing, synthesizing, evaluating and reflecting on information gathered from observation, experience, or communication.

The ultimate goal of critically thinking is to solve problems or make decisions. This is achieved by mentally processing information in a clear, logical, reasoned, and reflective manner so you can understand things better. This mental processing of information includes formulating questions, evaluating evidence, and questioning assumptions.

 

 

Being a Critical Thinker

A critical thinker….

  • Approaches problems in a consistent and systematic way
  • Seeks relevant sources of information
  • Probes for evidence
  • Identifies patterns and connections
  • Judges the validity of information
  • Reflects on information rather than using intuition or instinct
  • Analyzes Information using reason and logic
  • Understands the logical connection between ideas
  • Breaks down assumptions
  • Questions ideas and assumptions
  • Identifies inconsistencies and errors in reasoning
  • Recognizes arguments
  • Evaluates arguments
  • Determines the importance and relevance of arguments and ideas
  • Deduces outcomes

 

 

Skills for being a Critical Thinker

The skills needed to be able to think critically include:

  • Interpreting
  • Analyzing
  • Connecting
  • Integrating
  • Reflecting
  • Evaluating
  • Inferring
  • Comparing
  • Contrasting
  • Classifying
  • Sequencing
  • Observing
  • Patterning
  • Reasoning
  • Forecasting
  • Hypothesizing
  • Critiquing

 

 

Are you a critical thinker?

 

Characteristics of a Critical Thinker

  • Curiosity
  • Objectivity
  • Creativity
  • Flexibility
  • Fairness
  • Understanding
  • Open-mindedness
  • Independent thinking
  • Self-confidence
  • Good Listener
  • Analytical
  • Willingness to reconsider view point
  • Ability to distinguish facts from opinions
  • Ability to suspend judgment

 

 

 

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Analytical Thinking and Critical Thinking

Analytical Thinking and Critical Thinking

Some people assume that analytical thinking and critical thinking are one in the same. However, that is incorrect. Although there are similarities, there are distinct differences between the two.

 

Definitions:

Analytical thinking is the mental process of breaking down complex information or comprehensive data into fundamental parts or basic principles.

Critical thinking is the mental process of carefully evaluating information and determining how to interpret it in order to make a sound judgment.

 

 

Differences between Analytical Thinking and Critical Thinking

A basic difference between analytical thinking and critical thinking is analytical thinking involves breaking down complex information into smaller parts while critical thinking involves taking outside knowledge into account while evaluating information. Basically, analytical thinking seeks to review and breakdown the information gathered while critical thinking looks to make a holistic judgment using various sources of information including a person’s own existing knowledge.

Analytical thinking is more linear and step-by-step breakdown of information. On the other hand, critical thinking is more holistic as it seeks to assess, question, verify, infer, interpret, and formulate.

Analytical thinking can be thought of as a step in the critical thinking process. When you have a complex problem to solve, you would want to use your analytical skills before your critical thinking skills. Critical thinking does involve breaking down information into parts and analyzing the parts in a logical, step-by-step manner. However, it also involves taking other information to make a judgment or formulate innovative solutions.

Additionally, with analytical thinking, you use facts within the information gathered to support your conclusion. Conversely, with critical thinking, you make a judgment based on your opinion formed by evaluating various sources of information including your own knowledge and experiences.

 

analytical-thinking-and-critical-thinking

 

 

Analytical Thinking and Critical Thinking

About Analytical Thinking

Analytical thinking uses a step-by-step method to analyze a problem or situation by breaking it down into smaller parts in order to come to a conclusion.

With analytical thinking, you make conclusions by breaking down complex information into smaller parts and analyzing the parts. You look for patterns and trends as well a cause and effect within the information in order to find connections between the parts. In the end, you make draw a conclusion based on the available facts.

 

Steps for Analytical Thinking

Analytical thinking begins by gathering all relevant information. You then break up large, complex data into smaller, more manageable sizes. You then examine each sub-part to understand its components and relationship to the larger more complex data. You compare sets of data from different sources by looking at the information through different points of view with the objective to understand how it connects to other information. You search for patterns, trends, and cause and effect. Finally, you draw appropriate conclusions from the information in order to arrive at appropriate solutions.

Analytical thinking involves:

  1. Gathering relevant information
  2. Focusing on facts and evidence
  3. Examining chunks of data or information
  4. Identifying key issues
  5. Using logic and reasoning to process information
  6. Separating more complex information into simpler parts
  7. Sub-dividing information into manageable sizes
  8. Finding patterns and recognizing trends
  9. Identify cause and effect
  10. Understanding connections and relationships
  11. Eliminating extraneous information
  12. Organizing Information
  13. Drawing appropriate conclusions

 

 

About Critical Thinking

Critical thinking employs logic and reasoning to come to a conclusion about how best to perceive and interpret information in order to make sound judgments.

With critical thinking, you make conclusions regarding your unique perception of the information. You look into other pieces of data that could be relevant. Then you combine your new information with your existing knowledge of the world in order to make the most accurate assessment. Essentially, you reflect upon information in order to form a sound judgment that reconciles scientific evidence with common sense. Ultimately, you make reasoned judgments that are logical and well thought out by assessing the evidence that supports a specific theory or conclusion.

 

Steps for Critical Thinking

Critical thinking involves gathering all relevant information, then evaluating the information to determine how it should be best interpreted. You evaluate information by asking questions, assessing value, and making inferences. You then formulate ideas and theories based on the evaluation. You consider outside information rather than sticking strictly with the information presented. You then consider alternative possibilities before reaching a well-reasoned conclusion. Finally, you test your conclusions in an attempt to verify if evidence supports your conclusions and make your judgment.

Critical thinking involves:

  1. Gathering relevant information
  2. Evaluating information
  3. Asking questions
  4. Assessing bias or unsubstantiated assumptions
  5. Making inferences from the information and filling in gaps
  6. Using abstract ideas to interpret information
  7. Formulating ideas
  8. Weighing opinions
  9. Reaching well-reasoned conclusions
  10. Considering alternative possibilities
  11. Testing conclusions
  12. Verifying if evidence/argument support the conclusions

 

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Critical Thinking vs. Creative Thinking

Critical Thinking vs. Creative Thinking

 

Creative thinking is a way of looking at problems or situations from a fresh perspective to conceive of something new or original.

Critical thinking is the logical, sequential disciplined process of rationalizing, analyzing, evaluating, and interpreting information to make informed judgments and/or decisions.

 

Critical Thinking vs. Creative Thinking – Key Differences

  1. Creative thinking tries to create something new, while critical thinking seeks to assess worth or validity of something that already exists.
  2. Creative thinking is generative, while critical thinking is analytical.
  3. Creative thinking is divergent, while critical thinking is convergent.
  4. Creative thinking is focused on possibilities, while critical thinking is focused on probability.
  5. Creative thinking is accomplished by disregarding accepted principles, while critical thinking is accomplished by applying accepted principles.

 

 

critical-thinking-vs-creative-thinking

 

About Creative Thinking

Creative thinking is a process utilized to generate lists of new, varied and unique ideas or possibilities. Creative thinking brings a fresh perspective and sometimes unconventional solution to solve a problem or address a challenge.  When you are thinking creatively, you are focused on exploring ideas, generating possibilities, and/or developing various theories.

Creative thinking can be performed both by an unstructured process such as brainstorming, or by a structured process such as lateral thinking.

Brainstorming is the process for generating unique ideas and solutions through spontaneous and freewheeling group discussion. Participants are encouraged to think aloud and suggest as many ideas as they can, no matter how outlandish it may seem.

Lateral thinking uses a systematic process that leads to logical conclusions. However, it involves changing a standard thinking sequence and arriving at a solution from completely different angles.

No matter what process you chose, the ultimate goal is to generate ideas that are unique, useful and worthy of further elaboration. Often times, critical thinking is performed after creative thinking has generated various possibilities. Critical thinking is used to vet those ideas to determine if they are practical.

 

Creative Thinking Skills

  • Open-mindedness
  • Flexibility
  • Imagination
  • Adaptability
  • Risk-taking
  • Originality
  • Elaboration
  • Brainstorming
  • Imagery

 

 

Critical Thinking header

About Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the process of actively analyzing, interpreting, synthesizing, evaluating information gathered from observation, experience, or communication. It is thinking in a clear, logical, reasoned, and reflective manner to make informed judgments and/or decisions.

Critical thinking involves the ability to:

  • question
  • use logic
  • remain objective
  • examine
  • analyze
  • interpret
  • evaluate
  • reason
  • reflect

 

In general, critical thinking is used to make logical well-formed decisions after analyzing and evaluating information and/or an array of ideas.

On a daily basis, it can be used for a variety of reasons including:

  1. to form an argument
  2. to articulate and justify a position or point of view
  3. to reduce possibilities to convergent toward a single answer
  4. to vet creative ideas to determine if they are practical
  5. to judge an assumption
  6. to solve a problem
  7. to reach a conclusion

 

Critical Thinking Skills

  • Interpreting
  • Analyzing
  • Connecting
  • Integrating
  • Evaluating
  • Inferring
  • Comparing
  • Contrasting
  • Classifying
  • Sequencing
  • Patterning
  • Reasoning
  • Forecasting
  • Hypothesizing
  • Critiquing

 

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