What is critical thinking?

Most probably you have noticed that before hiring someone, employers seek the expression “critical thinking” in the resumes of the applicants. During the past several years, and obviously in the upcoming many years, this feature is believed to play a major role in the efficiency of a worker. But what is critical thinking? What definition and importance does it have? All these and many other questions are going to be answered in this brief yet informative article.

The Definition

The definition of critical thinking is as follows: the ability to think distinctly and rationally about any subject, problem or concept while improving one’s analyzing, reconstructing and assessing skills, is defined as critical thinking. If you are sure you can direct yourself into seeing the matter clearly, monitor yourself while you are taking some actions toward solving it, and correct yourself whenever necessary while feeling disciplined throughout the entire process, then, most probably, you can boast of having this feature.
Quite often, people don’t understand the meaning of critical thinking and mix it with the ability to accumulate information. If the person has a mind-blowing memory and can remember multiple facts, this doesn’t mean he is blessed with critical thinking. A critical thinker, having little information, knows well how to use it and can make accurate deductions. This means, that in case of developing this skill, one can enhance his work processes and even improve social institutions.

Characteristics

The characteristics of critical thinking are well-defined. The one who has critical thinking can perform the following:

  • easily capture the logical relation between different ideas;
  • build, identify and assess arguments;
  • find out mistakes and discrepancies in reasoning;
  • give systematic solutions to problems;
  • identify the importance and pertinence of ideas;
  • consider the justification of your own values and beliefs.

Critical thinking is sometimes compared with thinking out-of-the-box. People gifted with this ability can challenge the consensus, pursue harder and less popular approaches toward solving different matters as compared with other people. Generally, critical thinking is a mandatory element of creativity as one can’t evaluate one’s creative ideas or improve them without having critical thinking.

Significance of Critical Thinking

Learning the critical thinking definition doesn’t mean you can easily understand the great importance of this skill. Critical thinking is not crucial exceptionally for business or creative areas. The key points it implies including decision making, evaluating, reasoning, analyzing, and problem-solving, may be applied to almost every troublesome situation in life. Whether the person is from the sphere of education, finance, marketing, management, research or the law, critical thinking becomes a must-have trait of an applicant. Yet, at the same time, it can become an asset for any career.

How to Gain Critical Thinking Skills

Generally, people may think that one has to be very smart to have critical thinking skills. Yet, in fact, if you can learn critical thinking, that will make you smart! For this, first of all, make yourself think critically about any matter. Show interest in any talks around, engage with any info you may hear. Afterward, start defining thinking errors. Usually, one is taught about such errors during college courses in logic. Yet, if you don’t remember them, we shall name a couple: appealing to consensus or authority, circular reasoning, false analogy, exclusivity confusion, jumping to conclusions.
Your next step should be learning a couple of strategies, such as being constantly aware of your alertness, bias, attentiveness, self-assurance, emotional state, etc.; training your focusing abilities; using reasoning only based in evidence; identifying the odd or missing fact; asking yourself questions and finding the most relevant answers to them.

So, now you have a detailed overview of critical thinking meaning, its characteristics, and importance. If you can work on yourself and develop such skills in yourself, be certain you will benefit in any phase of your life regardless of the situation you may occur in.