The blog explores the important part critical thinking plays in a person’s life and how one can improve critical thinking skills.
Critical thinking is the ability to think logically and to make clear and reasoned judgments. It includes the person’s ability to engage in insightful, reflective and autonomous thinking. Every person thinks that it’s in their nature to think critically but majority of their thinking is influenced, opinionated, biased, partial, imprecise, ignorant or blatantly prejudiced.
People who are well-cultivated critical thinkers are able to understand and comprehend the rational and logical connection between thoughts and ideas. They can gather pertinent information, using conceptual ideas to interpret it effectively and can communicate it efficiently and competently with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems. Additionally, critical thinking helps people to identify the significance of ideas and helps them to detect discrepancies and ordinary mistakes in reasoning. It also helps a person to acquire knowledge and improve one’s theories. Critical thinking is autonomous, self-monitored, independent and self-directed thinking. It should never be confused with being critical of other people.
Critical thinking skills can be used in exposing misleading notions and incorrect reasoning. Some people believe that critical thinking impedes imagination and creativity as it requires following the rules of coherent and logical reasoning and rationality, but creativity might require breaking these rules. However, this is a misunderstanding and a misconception. Critical thinking is quite attuned to creative thinking and is fairly compatible with unorthodox thinking and challenges consensus as well. On the contrary, critical thinking is an indispensable part of creativity as people need critical thinking to assess and improve their creative ideas.
Developing and improving critical thinking skills is an essential part of our life and it’s definitely worth pursuing. A person can improve his/her critical thinking skills without needing any special gear or equipment. In fact, all a person needs is an open mind, non-judgmental attitude and curiosity, along with few other strategies that are mentioned here. A person needs to know and understand what they are looking for and should formulate one’s question accordingly. They should also gather the information that is relevant to their problems and should do research on it by reaching out to experts in the relevant field, or have discussion with people who have experience on the subject matter. In addition to all of this, a person needs to consider how a particular decision will shape things in the long term. It is important to explore other viewpoints to understand other perspectives so that a person can learn more about the subject and reflect upon it.
To live a life that is meaningful, a person needs to reflect on one’s choices and needs to justify one’s decisions. Critical thinking helps people in this regard and provides them with the instrument for the process of self assessment.