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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Thoughts on Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a concept that is widely used and has high visibility in the accreditation and mission statements of businesses across the world. However, many people have difficulty clarifying the concept and knowing how to infuse it as a part of their professional and personal lives. It can be argued that critical thinking is not something that is merely added to our way of doing things, but should be the way we liveo our lives and learn. When critical thinking is as a necessity for everyday life,  learning substantive understanding will naturally result. 

The critical mind is the questioning mind. The extent to which we ask genuine questions and seek to answer them reflects the extent to which we take things seriously and think them through. The problem is that we rarely know how to systematically ask questions that probe content by searching out assumptions, concepts, purposes, information, inferences and solutions, points of view, or implications. We rarely seek out intellectual standards to evaluate the quality of their thought and the thoughts of others: questions that target clarity, depth, relevance, validity, significance, and accuracy. We should work to create a personal culture where we actively, reflectively, and fair-mindedly question concepts, content and each other. 
We need to cultivate important intellectual skills and abilities as well as virtuous dispositions like intellectual flexibility, empathy, humility, integrity, open-mindedness, and perseverance to name a few. There is a relationship between our ability to question and our ability to think critically. 

There is an intimate relationship between what it means to think critically and our success in life.


First posted 9-9-10

37 comments:

coastielema said...

Maybe if we quit spending so much time indoctrinating kids in a curriculum of political correctness, social justice, economic justice, global warming, evolution theory as fact, socialist ideology, and redistribution schemes, they WOULD certainly be more able to engage in critical thinking?

They would at least be able to speak with much less fear of being shunned!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
CLINT ALEXANDER said...

This issue of needing to think critically is a big issue in our country. I think the major problem with this is that everyone is in such a hurry that they don't pause to think things through, they just let people tell them what is the right way of doing things.

Anonymous said...

Some people don't think at all... How do we help them??? Jeff wilson com101 wh940

Anonymous said...

Like the first responder to this post, who did not read the post or else simply has a long list of axes to grind.

Anonymous said...

I strongly feel that we are so "busy" that we don't want to think at all. We are always looking for a quick and fast solution in life. The fast paced mentality/society affects not only how we think, but how we communicate as well. I always wonder if we will eventually end up not communicating at all, you think?

Marga Bechtel

Mitch Yang said...

Doesn't the IQ test measure all that and tell you how well you critically think?

Unknown said...

I believe that we, as a society, have grown lazy because we rely on technology to much to provide the answers for us. Jokingly the other day I said to my friend "my GPS makes me stupid" but the truth is I pay no attention to landmarks or street names because I know it will guide me to and from...
I also think compassion should be listed among the virtuous dispositions

Anonymous said...

SOMETIMES WE DO NOT TAKE TIME OUT TO THINK, WE JUST DO, AND THEN WHEN THINGS HAPPEN THEY WAY THEY WERE NOT SUPPOSED TO, THE CONCEPT OF THINKING COMES TO MIND.. IF WE THINK BEFORE WE DO, YOU'D BE SURPRISED OF HOW MUCH MORE HAPPIER WE ALL WILL BE.

-HAVASHA REED
COM 101

Anonymous said...

Everybody will have that moment of, "Just do it, Don't think" in their life. And most times, the outcome turns out bad. Some situations will turn out good, if that person is lucky. If we all took some time to actually think about things, life would be just that much easier.

Anonymous said...

We don't think anymore. We just want to get it over and done with. Most of the time when we don't think, leads to bad decisions.

Chris Jackson

Anonymous said...

It says its important to think critically and our success in life. That is true. Without being able to think about things in a more depth way you will not be able to understand or justify them. Its important to think intelctually to carry on conversations with others and open our minds to whatever there is out there. You can learn a lot.

Jade Morton

Anonymous said...

People in this world are just plain lazy. If we actually took the time and really thought about something before we spoke or physically did something, there would be a lot less conflict in the world.

Chynna Greene

Anonymous said...

Most of us now have already had people tell us how things are done or should be done. Because of this we don't think much anymore, as a few others before me have said, we are in a rush to get everything done and just do it the fast way everyone else does it. So when we do get into a situation where we have to actually think, we can't do it.

Jeremy

Michael Dubia said...

The way a lot of people are raised, in today's society, is that everything is taught to you and almost laid out for you. A lot of people I knew in high school just sat there and did what they were told without asking questions, I think a lot of people take this mentality with them through life.

Michael Dubia - COM 101

yoandra taboada said...

i see the differance between critically thinking and using it to actually ask questions in depth, honestly i think that i think people dont actually want to put the effort in and/ or are afraid to speak to get a negative reaction
4041

Leslie Gomez- 4041 said...

Time to think? there's barely time to eat properly. In this fast-paced society thinking takes too long. Computers can do it for us. total sarcasm har har. I think there is a fine line between thinking critically and having intelligent, thought-out questions, and not thinking at all. Certain questions of life don't need critical thinking, just feeling. Problem is we need both to make proper conclusions.

Anonymous said...

To incorporate what I learned from this post, I would ask the author of the post how they think our culture will be changed if people did actively and fair-mindedly question each other.

Angelina Gomez
4041

Anonymous said...

I think that alot of us dont actively reflect because we are not open to another person being right. We have lived by a "I am right..... I dont care what you have to think or say". So we would have to be open to being wrong from time to time. As well as take the time and slow down to really find out the facts. Most americans live such fast paced lives we rely on the news or what someone else says for facts then we form or own opinions.

Anonymous said...

Thinking things through is too much work for some people. They just like to believe what someone is telling them without checking the facts at all.
Kali Gates BC6003

Iuliia Decker BC6003 said...

Critical thinking helps you a lot. If you can analyze your acting in different situations, find your mistakes, in the future you will surely have less % to make the same mistakes. It even helps you understand other people.
And at the same time you do not need to think too much about everything that happenes in your life, analyze it, ask different questions "why this, why that...", because it will really make you crazy )))

Anonymous said...

Critical thinking was something that was awakened in me at an early age. I think the earlier one really learns to think deep about matters, the more mature one becomes for their age, because critical thinking, in my opinion, is the other voice in my head besides my conscience, that allows me to make wise, calculated decisions.
-Manuelito M., Com101-4041

Alexis Donovan 4041 said...

I use critical thinking most of the time to solve problems or issues going on in my life. My generation is not really into thinking. Google is the answer to everything.

Jessica Johnson said...

coastielema, I couldnt have said it better myself.
Jessica Johnson COM 101-4041

Dane Gerace COM 101-6002 said...

As much as I hated Phil 102, I have to thank that class for helping me really develop my critical thinking skills. I used to trust everyone to tell me the truth and now I question everything everyone says. Critical thinking is extremely important I just never realized how much until I took that class.

Danielle Scarano 4041 said...

I think with our generation growing up with all this technology we rely too much on machines to think for us. Our brains are getting lazier and more apathetic when it comes to critical thinking. people truly need to learn how to critically think though, we cant have computers answer everything for us.

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as a great speech with no critical thinking!

-Danielle Davis Com4041

Luisa Galdamez COm 101 Sec 4041 said...

i think that its hard for people to ask questions, thus critically think because people are scared to show their weakness especially in a place where they make fun of ignorance instead of sharing knowledge. ASK QUESTIONS!!

Anonymous said...

Technology is making it easier and easier for everyone to get by without thinking and learning for ourselves. Back in the day if you wanted an answer you went to the library, looked at different books until you found your answer, and through that process you learned more. Now all we have to do is go to a computer, type in our question, and our answer is there in two seconds. This has taught us to be lazy! But technology can be beneficial because we can learn so much from it if we take the time to look up various questions, read, and use technology in beneficial ways instead of wasting so much time on social networks. Everyone is so busy now of days that we go with the quickest way possible instead of the most stimulating way we could think about things…

Chantel T.
4041

Anonymous said...

I would agree to the problem that we don't have open minds to being able to see the other persons point of view instead we jump to conclusions about things. i think even me personally have things i need to work on to not only improve how i think critically but how i can start to put myself in the other persons shoes to know where they are coming from before i assume they are wrong.. i see more and more people doing this.
Julie Fabre
BC 6003

Nick Pellegrini Com101-6002 said...

Critical thinking is definitely a complex process, but the problem in today's society is also complex. It's not just one or two factors that determine how well an individual or our country's population develop critical thinking skills. Some of these factors include education, interests, technology, genetics, greed, and how children are raised. In the end, as long as individuals are able to receive an education, and take it seriously, their critical thinking skills will improve.

Anonymous said...

I believe now aday no one wants to think that much about anything. It is so sad but it seems to be true. If only we would take a few minutes out of our "crazy" days to just sit down and think about everything that is happening, maybe then we wouldnt be in such a slump in life.

Kimberlee Perry
COM 6002

Anonymous said...

I believe we should learn critical thinking skills at the youngest age possible. I suppose we can learn it from our parents, if they know how. Technology today interferes with thinking for ourselves, children or adult.
I am definitely going to share what I am learning with my kids and grandkids.

Mary Renteria
HUM/114

Anonymous said...

I recall taking a critical thinking class in college and it was very difficult. I think it should be taught throught early education and high school. We all have a tendency to just go about are lives and not think critically. We are wasting our minds because alot of our technology thinks for us.

Angela Mains
Comm 101 HN 4080

paul campita said...

If you have ever wondered HOW problems seem to encroach into your life or why you seem to have a problem in dealing with them...then you need a doze of critical thinking!!!

Anonymous said...

Montoya @ Phoenix

We as a nation have become very lazy when it comes too critical thinkig. Thinking is a mental activity that helps frmulate or solve a problem, make a decision, or fulfill a desire to understand. I think people have forgotten how special critical thinking is.

Jana said...

The last sentence is food for thought: “There is an intimate relationship between what it means to think critically and our success in life.” That sentence is preceded by a list of virtuous dispositions, such as humility, integrity, and flexibility. My experience is that by practicing these three virtues, and throwing love into the mix, my live is less stressful and I eat less crow. Jana Hum/114