- A person trying to interpret an angry friend’s needs, expressed through a rush of emotion and snide comments, to give that friend some help and support.
- A manager trying to be as objective as possible when settling a dispute by summarizing the alternatives, with fairness to all sides to a disagreement.
- A team of scientists working with great precision through a complex experiment in an effort to gather and analyze data.
- A creative writer organizing ideas for the plot of a story and attending to the complex motivations and personalities of the fictional characters.
- A person running a small business trying to anticipate the possible economic and human consequences of various ways to increase sales or reduce costs.
- A master sergeant and a captain working out the tactical plans for a dangerous military mission.
- A soccer coach working during halftime on new tactics for attacking the weaknesses of the other team when the match resumes.
- A student confidently and correctly explaining exactly to his or her peers the methodology used to reach a particular conclusion, or why and how a certain methodology or standard of proof was applied.
- An educator using clever questioning to guide a student to new insights.
- Police detectives, crime scene analysts, lawyers, judges, and juries systematically investigating, interrogating, examining, and evaluating the evidence as they seek justice.
- A policy analyst reviewing alternative drafts of product safety legislation while determining how to frame the law to benefit the most people at the least cost.
- An applicant preparing for a job interview thinking about how to explain his or her particular skills and experiences in a way that will be relevant and of value to the prospective employer.
- Parents anticipating the costs of sending their young child to college, analyzing the family’s projected income, and budgeting projected household expenses in an effort to put aside some money for that child’s future education.
- A financial planner anticipating the impact of new income tax legislation on a client’s future tax liabilities.
- A first responder coming upon the scene of an accident and quickly analyzing the situation, evaluating priorities, and inferring what actions to take in what order.
Examples from Facione, P. & Gittens C. Think Critically, Pearson Education
Measuring critical thinking: Insight Assessment test instruments are calibrated to objectively measure the skills and mindset characteristic of strong critical thinkers. Each assessment is designed to assess how test takers solve problems and make decisions in real world situations. Validated group and individual reportsprovide comprehensive analysis of strengths and weaknesses in essential aspects of good thinking. Contact us to discuss how our assessment tools are being used across the world to measure and improve thinking.
Improving critical thinking:INSIGHT Development Program is designed to build critical thinking in teams as well as individuals. It provides a series of online thinking skills and mindset enrichment modules with accompanying exercises, access to an assessment metric and performance reporting tools. Designed to be used as an independent study by employees, it can also be incorporated into existing training programs.
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Critical thinking is the capability to think rationally and clearly. Critical thinkers have the ability to understand logical links between issues. Critical thinkers engage in reflective and independent thinking. Use of one’s reason is crucial in critical thinking just as being an active learner is important. Critical thinkers do not just accept ideas and assumptions without questioning the validity of those ideas or assumptions.
People face problems every day in their lives and there is need of solving these problems as they come. For me, it is not different and therefore, I use critical thinking in problem-solving. Critical thinking helps me in identify the exact problem that I am facing and then I analyze it from different perspectives to ascertain the nature of the problem. This critical analysis helps me to come up with several different ways of solving my problem from which the best and easiest way I choose to use. Critical thinking helps me to approach problems rationally, with a clear mind and with a perspective that every problem has a solution.
I use my critical thinking ability to identify, construct and evaluate arguments. When communicating, it is important to identify arguments because identification of an argument helps in evaluation of the argument. When I identify an argument, I use my critical thinking abilities to evaluate the premise and the conclusion to determine the validity of the argument. Some people use assumptions or opinions in their arguments and it invalidates the conclusion and using critical thinking helps me to identify such arguments. Critical thinking helps me evaluate the arguments with an open mind and logically without involving personal bias. I also use critical thinking in constructing my own arguments that have factual premises and conclusions and therefore, they are valid arguments.
I use critical thinking in identifying fallacies and stereotypes. There are lots of stereotypes and fallacies in the contemporary world that have been repeated several times that they are assumed as facts. Through my critical thinking abilities, I am able to identify this fallacies and stereotypes and avoid making conclusions based on them. Stereotypes based on gender, religion, or even race are misplaced and do not apply to all the people of that generalization and hence should not be used to conclude an argument. Some friends of mine who do not think critically use such stereotypes in their conclusions and thus they invalidate their arguments while on the other hand, as a critical thinker, I am able to identify them in arguments as well as avoid using them in my arguments.
In conclusion, it is clear that critical thinking involves thinking logically and clearly and it helps people in very many situations. Since problems are part of life, the ability to think critically in solving these problems for a better future and for better life perspectives. It is crucial that critical thinking is used in construction and evaluation of arguments to limit chances of conflicting ideas. When people thinking critically, they give valid arguments that limit chances conflicts rather it builds trust and peace. Some people conclude their arguments based on stereotypes and fallacies and this invalidates their arguments. Critical thinkers have the ability to identify fallacies and stereotypes and thus avoid conclusions that are based on this.