Critical Thinking Blog

In such cases, simple comparisons become unreliable guides to action, because the effects of intervening variables haven’t been screened out. Our debates are largely magnitude-free, but decisions in a world with constrained resources always demand a sense of the sizes of various effects. No matter what walk of life you come from, what industry you’re interested in pursuing or how much experience you’ve already garnered, we’ve all seen firsthand the importance of critical thinking skills.

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Critical thinking is the analysis of an issue or situation and the facts, data or evidence related to it.

Ideally, critical thinking is to be done objectively—meaning without influence from personal feelings, opinions or biases—and it focuses solely on factual information.

Once you have a clear picture of the situation and the people, groups or factors that may be influenced, you can then begin to dive deeper into an issue and its potential solutions.

How to improve: When facing any new situation, question or scenario, stop to take a mental inventory of the state of affairs and ask the following questions: When comparing arguments about an issue, independent research ability is key.

In it he summarizes his recent keynote speech at the 9th Annual Critical Thinking and Innovative Education Conference in Beijing, China.

D., Measured Reasons LLC, is presented as part of Insight Assessment's commitment to advancing critical thinking worldwide.Developing your critical thinking skills is something that takes concentrated work.It can be best to begin by exploring the definition of critical thinking and the skills it includes—once you do, you can then venture toward the crucial question at hand: How can I improve?Facione particularly enjoyed the discussions about the role of educators in teaching students how to improve their critical thinking skills. The ability to think empirically, not theoretically. The ability to think in terms of multiple, rather than single, causes. An expanding literature in psychology and behavioral economics suggests that we are full of unconscious biases, and a failure to understand these biases contributes to poor decision-making.By this I mean the habit of constantly checking one’s views against evidence from the real world, and the courage to change positions if better explanations come along. When you drop a book, it will fall on the floor — a single-cause event. In his seminal book, Expert Political Judgment, Philip Tetlock followed Isaiah Berlin in distinguishing between hedgehogs, who know one big thing and apply that understanding to everything around them, and foxes, who know many small things and pragmatically apply a “grab bag” of knowledge to make modest predictions about the world. Perhaps the most common and dangerous of these is confirmation bias, the tendency to seek out information in accordance with our previous views and ignore or dismiss information contrary to those views. But most of the interesting things in the world have multiple causes; educational success, for example, is affected by a student’s aptitude, but also by the educational achievements of the student’s parents, the quality of the school he or she attends, and the attitudes and intelligence of the other students in that school. The ability to think in terms of the sizes of things, rather than only in terms of their direction. In his study of hundreds of foreign policy experts over 20 years, Tetlock showed that foxes outperform hedgehogs in making predictions, and hence tend to make better decisions. Critical thinking is a skill that allows you to make logical and informed decisions to the best of your ability.For example, a child who has not yet developed such skills might believe the Tooth Fairy left money under their pillow based on stories their parents told them.“Everything is at risk if we don’t all learn to think more critically.” If people cannot think critically, he explains, they not only lessen their prospects of climbing the ladder in their respective industries, but they also become easily susceptible to things like fraud and manipulation.With that in mind, you’re likely wondering what you can do to make sure you’re not one of those people.

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