Take Risk of Thinking

Take Risk of Thinking

Take Risk of Thinking

Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking while you’re thinking to make your thinking better.  It is intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.  Most formal definitions characterize critical thinking as the intentional application of rational, higher order thinking skills, such as analysis, synthesis, problem recognition and problem solving, inference, and evaluation. Critical thinking is thinking that assesses itself.  It is the ability to think about one’s thinking in such a way as to recognize its strengths and weaknesses and, as a result recast the thinking in improved form.  Critical thinking is reasoned judgments.

Critical thinking involves asking questions, defining a problem, examining evidence, analyzing assumptions and biases, avoiding emotional reasoning, avoiding oversimplification, considering other interpretations, and tolerating ambiguity. Dealing with ambiguity is necessary and productive.  Critical thinking is thinking about one’s own thinking. More specifically, it is being aware of one’s thinking as one performs specific tasks and then using this awareness to control what one is doing.

Critical thinking is skeptical, open-minded, value fair-mindedness, respect evidence and reasoning, respect clarity and precision, look at different points of view, and will change positions when reason leads them to do so.  To think critically, must apply criteria. Need to have conditions that must be met for something to be judged as believable. Although the argument can be made that each subject area has different criteria, some standards apply to all, an assertion must be based on relevant, accurate facts; based on credible sources; precise; unbiased; free from logical fallacies; logically consistent; and strongly reasoned.

Critical thinking involves identifying, evaluating, and constructing arguments, infer a conclusion from one or multiple premises and logical relationships among statements.  Critical thinkers view phenomena from many different points of view. Critical thinking makes use of many procedures. These procedures include asking questions, making judgments, and identifying assumptions.

In the era of information explosion, being passive receptors of information is suicidal.  One needs to weed through the flood of information to make critical choices as a result of the information explosion and other rapid technological changes. Critical thinking is important to the very state of our nation. To live successfully in a democracy, people must be able to think critically in order to make sound decisions about personal and civic affairs.

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