What is Critical Thinking?

What are Critical Thinking in Psychology, Education, and Nursing? Why Critical Thinking is important? How to improve Critical Thinking and Problem-solving skills?
what is critical thinking
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Critical thinking makes up the mind by improving the accuracy of thinking. It helps the person to think clearly and make nonbiased decisions. But what is critical thinking in different fields? Critical thinking involves solving problems systematically based on justifications and important ideas. Read this article to learn how to improve critical thinking skills.

1. What is Critical Thinking?

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Analyzing the information and making a reasonable judgment is called critical thinking. Instead of observing the information as given, critical thinking enables you to think in a higher-order about the information. Therefore, critical thinkers reject the subject matter and try to approach rational conclusions. This concept has been under development for the past 2500 years. Different organizations of people define critical thinking in a transdisciplinary manner.

According to the National Council for excellence, 1987, critical thinking is the process of conceptually thinking, applying, developing, evaluating, and releasing information actively through experience, reasoning, and communication to take action. It is based on universal accuracy, reason, clarity, and relevance values. Critical thinkers are not influenced by personal feelings and are focused only on facts and proofs. (See What is the Correct Order of Steps in the Scientific Method?)

2. What is Critical Thinking in Psychology?

Critical thinking in psychology helps you find mistakes you make in reasoning and thinking patterns that do not yield good results. Based on psychology, the best example of a critical psychological thinker is a gambler who hopes to get 6 at the fourth time of rolling the dice after getting 6 the three times before, which is an illogical reason. So this is not based on pure logic. Also, check out how can you tell if you have a Photographic Memory?

3. What is Critical Thinking in Education?

The teaching of Socrates started critical thinking in education. When a person interprets information after analyzing and evaluating it, the judgment made by applying ingenious thoughts is called critical thinking in education. These involve solving problems, self-evaluating, analyzing, and being open to sharing ideas with others. They think before taking action and are ready to take on new challenges, being good listeners, and open-minded. They think actively and are involved in constant interaction with the world. (See Why Studying Is Important?)

4. What is Critical Thinking in Nursing?

Nurses apply critical thinking to solve problems and make decisions creatively for patients. It provides efficient and safe nursing methods. In critical thinking, nurses distinguish claims based on conclusions and opinions. The information reliability is assessed based on critical thinking, where nurses confirm accuracy by checking the evidence. These skills involve steps like planning, diagnosis, evaluation, and implementation. Therefore, critical thinking is essential in nursing for safe and efficient nursing practice. (See What is Biomedical Engineering?)

5. Why Critical Thinking is Important?

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Critical thinking is important in the following ways:

6. 10 Critical Thinking Skills you need to master

Critical thinking skills possessed by critical thinkers are:

  • Research: You have to be an independent researcher about any argument and verify the things independently to find the source and evaluate accordingly. You have to look after the other person presenting the information, check if he is providing the source of information, and find the validity of those sources.
  • Identification: You must know how to identify the problems and the factors influencing them, dive deep into the problem, and find the solutions. Do not make assumptions in mind; instead, try to find the reason, results, and possible changes.
  • Identifying Bias: You have to be quite smart to recognize which are somewhat difficult. For this, you need to be a strong critical thinker and evaluate the information on both sides, keeping aside your judgment. Also, you need to keep your horizons broad enough to set multiple viewpoints. Once you are done, ask yourself about the credibility of your sources and beliefs. Also, try to recheck your sources, claims, schedule, benefits, and perception.
  • Inference: You will not be provided with the summary of information presented to you, so you must be able to conclude from such information by evaluating the data. The influence is based upon the situations, so it may not always be correct. You must create the scenario and then discover the possible outcomes to inform.
  • Relevance: Sometimes, you may be presented with information that is not as important as it seems but is a minor part to consider. You must have the ability to figure out such information. The best way is to list the points from top to bottom and focus on the top points.
  • Curiosity: You must be curious to know about things and ask questions. It is not necessary to be born with a curious mind. You can also develop your curiosity by making efforts to ask questions about things in everyday life and spend time on them. (See Make Your Own Custom Fidget Spinner)
  • Self-rejection: Sometimes, things may become complicated. To simplify them, people must reject their ideas and beliefs to think positively.
  • Reasoning: Along with the argument, you need to provide support and required reasoning in a structured manner.
  • Recognition: You must recognize the negative points and weaknesses in the argument and evidence made.
  • Identification: When a particular issue is raised, different arguments must be identified and evaluated to be strong and valid. (See What are the 7 Laws of Attraction?)

7. How to improve Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills? 3 Habits to improve your Critical Thinking

What is critical thinking and how problem-solving skills can be improved are given in the following three methods:

  • Questioning: You must develop a habit of asking questions yourself throughout your day about your beliefs. By examining your assumptions, you can also consider alternatives. Such questions help you to gain a different perspective for new thinking.
  • Reasoning: Before making any decision, you must ask yourself about the pieces of evidence and the logic supporting the particular argument. It would be best if you also made conclusions that allow you to think more logically.
  • Diversity of Thoughts: You must know to group yourself with other people and collaborate with them. Your views must be polarized, and you must be ready to share them with others and be a good listener to them. (See Study: Male and female Brains Operate Differently at a Molecular Level)

8. What are the Best Books on Critical Thinking? List 8 Best Critical Thinking Books

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The books to get a complete idea of what is critical thinking are:

  • Calling Bullshit by Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West: The book was used as a course at the University of Washington. It is a kind of handbook explaining the consequences of misinformation circulating on the Internet, as it focuses on truth and examples from science and also discussion of psychology.
  • Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman: This book deals with critical psychological thinking, which we all are prone to. It consists of two systems where one is forming quick conclusions, and the other is slow and conscious decisions.
  • Factfulness by Hans Rosling: This book explains the 10 reasons for proving us to be wrong about the world and turns out that the world is a better place despite its imperfections. This book lets you think about the world from a new perspective.
  • Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success by Matthew Syed: This book enables you to think about failure differently, which comes from the black boxes. A significant learning experience is a failure. This book relates failure to aviation disasters which we all want to avoid, but airline travel is now a safe mode of transport. This contrasts with other areas where failures are not shared among people, like in healthcare. Also, check out the 10 Scientific Benefits of Reading Books.
  • The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli: This book explains that when a person is given a greater number of choices, it makes his life unhappy and destroys his quality of life, wasting time. He believes the first step is thinking about your work and reflecting on it. If you have fewer choices, you can ultimately choose a better option rather than having multiple numbers of choices leading you to confusion.
  • Critical Thinking: Your Guide to Effective Argument Successful Analysis and Independent Study by Tom Chatfield: In this book, you need to apply the points taught to yourself and make self-decisions to improve your writing and thinking skills better.
  • The Five Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B Burger: This book unfolds the powers of deep understanding hidden and offers real-life stories. Also, it inspires and guides the individual to grow and learn.
  • A Rule Book for Arguments by Anthony Weston: It helps students in writing papers and arguments by giving the specific rules and explaining them briefly. (See Best Child Psychology Books)

9. How to develop Critical Thinking Skills in Students?

What is critical thinking for the students? To develop critical thinking skills in students, they are made to analyze, interpret and examine information to construct their thoughts. In today’s education system, false information reaches the student at a breakneck speed where they require critical thinking to analyze information and make decisions accordingly by thinking in different dimensions. Critical thinking can be started in classrooms and at home. (See Why is it Important to do your Homework?)

Students must ask questions to transfer knowledge and apply it in practical life, noting the pros and cons of the decisions. Students must be encouraged to innovate, apply their knowledge to a new contact, and make different projects from a story to a game. An exceptional tool that can help is brainstorming, bringing about great critical thinkers which will definitely answer your question to what is critical thinking and why is it important. (Also read What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Brain Fog?)

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