What is Critical Thinking?
Critical thinking is the ability to analyze and evaluate facts and pieces of evidence to develop own opinions, solutions and decisions that help in solving problems.
Critical thinking can be developed over time and is considered as abilities or set of skills. It is related to something about formulating your own decision with the evidence available. The most important part when considering critical thinking is ‘what matters in it is important’.
Individuals train themselves and make out the aspects which are important and required and which are not required. With critical thinking, reasons are utilized to monitor and analyze and get in depth to gain a better idea. The final meaning is that critical thinking is to think better rather that thinking hard or more.
Importance of Critical Thinking:
Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum (1999) explains critical thinking as “examining, questioning, evaluating, and challenging taken-for-granted assumptions about issues and practices” and critical action as “action based on critical thinking”
- Ability to think and evaluate independently
- Taking initiatives
- Developing effective and defensive solutions
- Accept challenges
- Encourage others to think critically
- Taking responsibility
- Identify inequalities and unusual things
- Producing alternate solutions
- Helps in developing confidence
Ways to Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills:
“Thinking is skilled work. It is not true that we are naturally endowed with the ability to think clearly and logically – without learning how, or without practicing.” – A.E. Mander
Critical thinking is a skill which can help find solutions to the unsolved mysteries and problems and help you lead a peaceful life. It is a wonderful way to understand things in a better manner.
Here are a few ways that help you improve critical thinking skills:
- Ask questions which are basic in nature
- Reversing things to solve quickly
- Inquire about general assumption
- Analyze the evidence clearly
- Being aware of your mental abilities
- Think for yourself
- Understand that critical thinking is not possible all the time
Tips to Train Your Mind to Form Own Opinions and Think Critically:
1. Think in a realistic manner:
Almost all individuals have issues to think in a realistic manner. Individuals always think of expectations, dreams, and wishes that are not real. Hence, it is important to think about aspects that are real, in order to think critically.
2. Look for benefits in any matter:
When an individual reads any data or news, he needs to think the one who is beneficial because of the matter. There could be someone who always benefits from the opinion in some way. In critical thinking, it is always good to find out the one who gains from the idea.
3. Being open-minded:
In order to develop ones owns thoughts and opinions, it is mandatory to be open-minded. When a person is close minded, there would be no creativity or interpretation; their thoughts would be underdeveloped and rigid too. To think critically, the individual must be sure to accept and listen from all point of view though you agree or not with the opinion.
4. Probing the course:
It is not possible to get a vision of the source all the time with the internet. When you hear something that is off about the opinion, do not hesitate to track the source and find out where it has been from, before you conclude and develop an opinion about it.
5. Do not fall into doubt:
There are situations where you may be hanging between two ideas. Remember not to be muddled as this may stop you from formulating your own ideas. Always remember to choose an area and possess a valid reason for the same.
6. Pick out evident statements:
It is usual and many would have noticed that in reviews, essays, debates and more there would be evident statements within which a number of arguments would be presented. By the time we dig and find out, there are a number of responses we miss out as we have agreed and made the statement valid already.
7. Avoid judging:
By the time you judge any individual make sure you possess all the evidence, information and sources required. In order to think in a critical manner, it is not good to judge a book by its cover without reading it completely.
8. Omit bandwagon:
Getting into bandwagon is one habit that almost all individuals do these days. It is also mentioned as peer pressure. In order to develop critical thinking, remember to stay back from routines and thoughts which are usual from everyone.
9. Develop sense of humor:
In order to see the light in some situations, it is important to see certain aspects with a sense of humor too. Pessimists are ones who vision the world in a negative manner and also make rash decisions in any situations. In order to obtain light and clarity, sense of humor is mandatory for an individual.
To develop critical thinking and make sound decisions, it is important to bring in all information and facts. When an individual does not listen in an attentive manner, then they will not get the required information.
11. Handling pressure:
Pressure is something unavoidable in any individual’s life. When any individual is not under pressure then they may have the mindset to make unwise and impulsive decisions. A good suggestion to individuals would be that if you find that you’re being weighed down by your shoulders, invest more time so that your thoughts are justified. Another suggestion would be to calm down and breathe by making reentry into the situation that you took time.
12. Empathic behavior:
Every individual may undergo many situations in life and can be understood only when you put yourself into their shoes. It is important to know their complete history and then move forward in judging others and taking decisions. Hence to develop your own opinions by thinking critically, developing empathy is important.
13. Monitor your ego:
There are many people in life that do things in order to please and satisfy others. Things are to be done and decisions are to be made with the best interest in them. This is one way to develop opinions by critical thinking. Remember not to do things just to fit in or look cool.
14. Perform self-talk:
It is always good to practice positive self-talk within yourselves. Negative self-talk is ones that will block your skills of negative thinking and also develop a negative self-image of yourself. When negative self- image is developed, it leads to uninvited decisions. . if there are any negative self-talks that you may possess, weed them out and think of possible ways so that you can improve your self esteem.
15. Insincere praise:
A true saying is that flattery traps are something that can get you nowhere. There are many people around who praise you in an insincere manner. One should always be careful of flattery traps that are around them, people may offer flattery praises just to bring them to their way. They may follow this flattery technique just to gain financial help from you or to follow them.
16. Do not trust authority figures:
Hollywood stars, sports figures, and cultural personalities are one who make statements and say a number of things in public. Remember they say all this because they are paid. Though they earn more of dollars for the endorsements, it is not necessary to trust what these personalities say. It may surely hinder your critical thinking skills and you may avert the right decisions.
17. Taking control of emotions:
Emotions play a main role in every individual’s life especially women life. It is advised to follow that not to allow, emotions take up the responsibility for the decision. Whenever you’re tired, exhausted, and angry, depressed, and more ,remember to stay back and do not decide on anything. Remember at those moments, develop thoughts or opinions of something else in life. Emotions are something that manipulates your thoughts and blocks your critical thinking.
It is important to investigate in order to develop your own opinions by ways of critical thinking. It is never right to believe everything that you’ve heard in your life. There are so many things being announced on television, radio, ads and from other sources each day. When you get the mindset to believe everything you have heard, it would stop your critical thinking capacity and avoid you from making the right decisions.
19. Be curious:
There are abundant things that happen around, only a curious person would be interested in the various things available and the world has to offer. A close minded person is someone who does not know what’s happening around and is not curious about knowing it.
If you’re interested in developing your own skills and knowledge and wanted to learn new aspects then you should be a curious person. This is one way by which your own opinions can be developed in a critical way. By this way, you obtain an open sense of knowledge and also explore a number of ways to think and achieve things.
20. Look for what you want to achieve:
The most important part of critical thinking is to aim for your achievement and look for ways by which your aim can be achieved. Clarify yourself for your goals in life and mark it as a starting point to achieve future aims. Make your goals aware to all people around such as workmates, family members and more. Also, mention the intention for your goals. The main aspect of critical thinking and to make the right decision is to be on the right track until your goal is achieved.
In order to think critically, an analysis is an important concept to be considered. Any process must be broken down into parts and analyze them very closely. For this one needs to look at the information from a step behind and examine the aspects in a careful manner. All the steps must be analyzed and accuracy of the statements must be looked for.
The logic in the statements is another aspect that must be analyzed further. The flaws in whatever statements you handle must be considered. There may be some relevant information which is left out which must be looked out. Furthermore persuasive techniques that add to agreeing must be concentrated.
22. Reading a lot:
In order to formulate your own decisions by critical thinking, the first and foremost aspect is to read a lot. It is important to read in a critical manner and also look for holes in them. Individuals can gain only one particular view or aspect when they just read one work such as academics or other aspects.
You can view and argument in only what you’ve read. It is always important and suggested to read a lot as it’s worth reading. Hence reading a lot helps you gain enhanced knowledge and helps you in decision making with critical thinking.
23. Use your wasted time:
There are people who waste their time each day by a number of activities. Instead, people can use their wasted time to develop opinions by critical thinking. In order to think in a critical manner and develop skills, individuals can question themselves as to what was the worst and the best thing done by them, what was done today?
Was anything figured out? Did any negative aspects irritate you today? Were any steps taken to my long-term goals in life? Remember to record your details and follow them in the right way. By this way, critical thinking skills are developed and opinions can be made of your own.
24. Sticking to the point:
It is important to concentrate on the matter and look out if there are logical connections in the matter. Also, watch out if you and your team fail in the aspect that you’re dealing. Focus towards an idea that you’re aiming at and decide to solve. When you receive any point, find out if it’s pertinent to the issue you are dealing.
Make a statement that is relevant to the issue you handle. It is important to focus on the issue being handled and shed light on the issue so that the problem is addressed. Also, make sure to avoid your mind from hovering with unrelated matters. Ask for what is the main question and are you dealing it in a related way.
These are a few aspects which need to be followed in order to think in a critical manner and develop opinions. The details to be learned in critical thinking is important, there are a number of strategies that needs to be followed in order to be a critical thinker and make your own decision. The above-mentioned aspects are perfect for critical thinking and help individuals develop their thoughts and make the right decision.
These aspects are related to something that needs to be developed in a concrete manner and enhance thinking in the right way. Critical thinking is an important aspect to be followed in any individual’s life in order to reap success. Hence critical thinking should be practiced and followed in life.