Critical Thinking to make better decisions

Critical Thinking is a skill that allows you to make logical and informed decisions. 

Indeed, critical thinking skills are in high demand for individuals looking for employment and looking to advance in their careers.

According to Scheffer and Rubenfeld, there are 7 critical thinking skills

Analyzing: Analyzing is separating or breaking a whole into parts to discover their nature, function, and relationship.

Applying Standards: Applying standards is judging according to established personal, professional, or social rules or criteria. Strong critical thinkers evaluate objectively.  Do not allow personal biases to cloud your judgement. 

Discriminating: Discriminating is recognizing differences and similarities among things or situations and distinguishing carefully as to category or rank.

Information Seeking: Information seeking is searching for evidence, facts, or knowledge by identifying relevant sources and gathering objective, subjective, historical, and current data from those sources.

But. how to improve? It can be helpful to develop an eye for unsourced claims. Does the person posing the argument offer where they got this information from? If you ask or try to find it yourself and there’s no clear answer, that should be considered a red flag, according to Rasmussen.edu.

Logical Reasoning: Logical reasoning is drawing inferences or conclusions that are supported in or justified by evidence.

Most of the time, you will have to draw conclusions based on information that is given to you.  Being able to make inferences will allow you to discover potential outcomes when faced with a situation.  But not all inferences are always correct.

Predicting: Predicting is envisioning a plan and its consequences.

Transforming Knowledge: Transforming knowledge is changing or converting the condition, nature, form, or function of concepts among contexts.

Now, let’s look at how to improve your critical thinking skills.

Learn something new everyday: Think of learning as a never-ending process.  Make it a point to have experiences that you learn from.

Ask questions: Asking meaningful questions is one of the best ways to develop your critical thinking skills.  It leads to constructive and useful answers that you can learn from. 

Improve your Active Listening Skills: Active listening is listening to understand and respond appropriately.  Improving your active listening skills trains you to understand what you are listening to and formulate answers appropriate to the context of the situation.

Research: In today’s technologically driven world, research may be synonymous to Google.  It is important to learn how to distinguish credible information. Learning how to sift through loads of information available on the Internet is another way to develop your critical thinking skills

Break It down: Have both big and small picture thinking.  Think of the big picture, or the rationale and objectives of the situation but at the same time, break it down to the details to understand the “whats” and “hows” of the situation.

As a result, developing your critical thinking skills is a never ending process.  Use each opportunity and experience that comes your way to improve your analytical and logical thinking.

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