Critical Thinking Definition

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A Critical thinking definition will help you to use skills of analysis better. Critical thinking was used to design the window and pillar of this ancient building. The designer analyzed the building’s location, reflected on the building's use and evaluated its design so that the building would not collapse. 

Top Critical Thinking Definition

Knowing a critical thinking definition will help you become a more effective analytical thinker.

  • Critical thinking is reasonable, reflective thinking that we use to make decisions and determine if something is true or not true.
  • Critical thinking is the thought processes used to evaluate information and to reach conclusions that will guide our behavior.
  • The process of critical thinking involves accuracy, logic, depth, fairness, credibility, and intellectual clarity.
  • The word “critical” does not mean negativity or pessimism. It means that we do not automatically need to accept the information we are given without thinking about it.

Also have a look at activities for critical thinking.

Twelve Top Mind Activities for Critical Thinking

  1. analyzing or breaking a large idea into smaller parts to understand it better
  2. interpreting what you see or what people say
  3. applying a thought or turning a thought into an action
  4. synthesizing, or combining a number of similar ideas into a larger idea
  5. reflecting on things you have seen, read or heard
  6. evaluating or separating ideas in order to see them in a different way
  7. reasoning -- relying on thinking rather than emotion
  8. making decisions based on evidence
  9. using fairness and honesty
  10. being precise and accurate
  11. recognizing assumptions, biases, points of view and prejudices
  12. being open minded and accepting of others viewpoints

For information on more material related to the mind, have a look at mind exercises, vision boards, make your own vision board and mindfulness for beginners.

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Five Characteristics of Critical thinkers

Critical thinkers are --

  1. skeptical of people’s ideas until accuracy is decided
  2. open to new ideas and perspectives
  3. willing to challenge their own beliefs if a differing belief is more accurate
  4. questioning
  5. investigative

Non critical thinkers are inclined to be --

  • passive
  • to see the world in black and white rather than shades of grey
  • to see questions as having yes and no answers
  • have difficulty see connections between one thought and another
  • often take a personal view of the world
  • believe that their facts and perspectives are the only relevant ones

Types of critical thinking involving critical thinking --

  • scientific
  • mathematical
  • historical
  • anthropological
  • economic
  • moral
  • philosophical

What critical thinking is not --

Critical thinking does not mean finding fault with someone or something. For example, critiquing a work of art -- music, sculpture, painting, writing and so forth means to examine the piece, to break it down into all its components or parts in order to evaluate its effectiveness.

 Advantages for using critical thinking definition --

  1. understanding others point of view
  2. detaching yourself from your emotions
  3. avoiding feelings of guilt, fear, shame and embarrassment
  4. learning from your mistakes rather than regretting them
  5. listening to others with an open mind
  6. building self esteem
  7. avoiding taking things personally
  8. thinking independently

You will use critical thinking to --

  • change careers
  • determine whether a person is honest or not
  • evaluate the accuracy of what you read in print or on the internet
  • decide whether a particular doctor or lawyer is effective and professional
  • purchase a home wisely
  • invest money carefully
  • understand bias in speech and written material
  • evaluate advertising

Knowing a critical thinking definition will help build your self esteem. Using your ability to analyze will help you see situations from a variety of perspectives.

Being a critical thinker will make your life easier and more fun. You will go beyond your own particular opinions to understand people and the world around you in a more objective way.   

You will find humor in difficult situations. Knowing what is critical thinking will help you understand your own thinking processes. Being a critical thinking will help build self esteem and see life both objectively and subjectively.

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