Critical Thinking is the ability to take the information you have obtained through observation, reading, hearing and experiences and then evaluating it via analysis, questioning, understanding, synthesizing and rationalizing and therefore coming up with a model of well informed thought or idea about how things might fit together or work.
In simple terms, it is the process of breaking down what you know and information you have, and then evaluating and critically analyzing it in order to make an informed decision without bias.
A critical thinker:
- Is open-minded and mindful of alternatives
- Desires to be, and is, well-informed
- Judges well the credibility of sources
- Identifies reasons, assumptions, and conclusions
- Asks appropriate clarifying questions
- Judges well the quality of an argument, including its reasons, assumptions, evidence, and their degree of support for the conclusion
- Can well develop and defend a reasonable position regarding a belief or an action, doing justice to challenges
- Formulates plausible hypotheses
- Plans and conducts experiments well
- Defines terms in a way appropriate for the context
- Draws conclusions when warranted – but with caution
- Integrates all of the above aspects of critical thinking
Watch the videos embedded below to better understand what critical thinking means.