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Friday, June 1, 2012

Open your mind to Critical Thinking


 Why Critical Thinking?

The Problem:

Everyone thinks; it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to
itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed or down-right prejudiced. Yet
the quality of our life and that of what we produce, make, or build depends
precisely on the quality of our thought. Shoddy thinking is costly, both in
money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically
cultivated.

A Definition:

Critical thinking is the art of analyzing and evaluating thinking with a view to improving it.

The Result:

A well cultivated critical thinker:

• raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely;

• gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it
effectively;

• comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against
relevant criteria and standards;

• thinks openmindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing
and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical
consequences; and

• communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex
problems.

Critical thinking is, in short, self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It requires rigorous standards of excellence  and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities and a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.

The more closed minded you are, the more you attack or reject without understanding, investigating and respecting the opposing point of view, the less open you are to others, to growth, to change and to working for the greater good.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with the statements that Critical Thinkers need to be open minded. At work, I hear people saying this is the only way to do X, and even if they are somewhat informed, they have not asked for feedback nor have they looked at a problem from multiple angles. If an opposing view is presented, closed minded people meet it with immediate dismissal. Ultimately, this has the affect of diminishing that person's views in future discussions. Therefore, it is vital that people listen to multiple sides of any conversation/argument/discussion, or the right solution may continue to be out of reach.
Alan Kennamer
HUM114

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed learning what a critical thinker is. I try to be as open-minded as possible but there is no doubt it is hard. As a child we are taught what to think not how to think, and as we get older it's hard to kill off old habits.

Jasmine J(uop) said...

I agree with the statements of critical thinkers having to be open-minded. It is a vital step in trying to figure out key dilemmas that we face in our daily lives.Why run into the same problems, when you can think critically, and avoid the situation all together. Weather it be at work, school, and dealing with stressors(finding different ways of relieving stress). We have to be able to step outside of our comfort zone, and be willing to learn, grow, and find new ways of methods.

Jana said...

I agree that investigating, understanding, and open-mindedness are essential components to cultivating critical thinking. However, as mentioned, critical thinking is hard work and time consuming. It takes time to become informed and to engage in a systematic process. Sadly, many Americans permit the media to shape their thinking.
Jana Henning
HUM/114
Summer, 2012

Denay Anthony, Hum 114 said...

It is very important for an individual to be open-minded to others point of views,however; just because someone is a critical thinker that doesn't their always open minded. A critical thinker coers to their conclusions based off their own research/experiences. Critical thinkers could definetly be closed to others peoples point of views, such as not womens rights in other countries. They may stand their ground on allowing women to have equal rights as men, and not even consider why the law such as that allows the disportion. Critical thinkers are not always open-minded people.

Anonymous said...

Colleen RT

I think that being open minded is the most important part of critical thinking. Unfortunately not everyone does it.

Anonymous said...

During a recently class I learned critical thinking is important in your everyday life. You need to be open minded to understand the big picture. T186G