Introduction

This post outlines the use of critical thinking for empowering us. This is done by going in our past and see our mistakes, and learn how to improve our abilities to avoid these mistakes in the future, utilise opportunities that comes to us, find solutions to problems by determining the causes of problems, and create new outcomes in business. One immediate consequence of the application of critical thinking is knowing how to overcome life and business challenges. Deakin University emphasises the fact that critical thinking is a competency that, when used frequently, will enhance our ability to succeed in our career, in business, in life, and will contribute to the development of all our competencies.

What is Critical Thinking?

Maura Sellars defines critical thinking as a process where one will conceptualize, apply, analyse, synthesise, and evaluate information. This information could be related to facts, relationships, mindsets, and possibilities. During this process we’ll use our thinking and judgment. Jane S. Halonen affirms that there are many definitions but none of them are widely accepted. Halonen cites two interesting definitions in her article: (1) using reflective skepticism when doing an activity, and (2) what to believe when using reflective thinking on your activity.

Recommended Action: Read the Critical Thinking & Logic Mastery Book.

Conceptualisations of Critical Thinking

Joel Frykholm asserts that the critical thinking is a fundamental concept in education, arts, and humanities. The conceptualization of critical thinking is seen differently by researchers in philosophy, history, and literary studies. Thus, (1) phylosophers equate critical thinking to logical analysis of arguments, (2) historians associate critical thinking with interpretations of past events, and (3) literary scholars connect critical thinking to informed interpretations of literature. It can be said that people conceptualize the critical thinking according to their field of activity.

Recommended Action: Read the Critical thinking skills Book.

Critical Thinking as a Model of Intelligence

Diane F. Halpern and Dana S. Dunn believe that critical thinking represents a model of intelligence that can successfully be used for problem solving in the real world. However, these authors asserted that people having a high IQ would not necessarily be able to totally solve the world problems, because they still have cognitive biases, partisan thinking, reactance, or confirmation bias.

Recommended Action: Read the Critical Thinking: How to Use Rationality and Intelligence as a Moral Compass Book.

Critical Thinking’s Influence on Learning

I D Martyaningrum argues that critical thinking influences people’s learning. In this context, applying the principles of critical thinking in learning, one would not easily trust all the information they gathered. The learners should use observation, their previous experience, and logical reasoning. By applying these steps in the learning process the learners will make evaluations, assessments, and improvement of their thoughts, and as a consequence they are being able to choose between wrong and right.

Recommended Action: Read the The Basics of Critical Thinking: 13 Tips for Developing Critical Thinking and Learning New Skills Book.

Decision Making using Critical Thinking

According to Edmondson and Shannon (2020) critical thinking is essential in the process of decision making. The decision making process is a thinking and a collaborative process. Therefore, the team members need to be good communicators as well. As a consequence, every decision making team member needs to have critical thinking skills, and critical voice skills, to be able to fully participate in the decision making process.

Recommended Action: Read The Unknown Methods of Critical Thinking Book.

Conclusion

This blog post outlined critical thinking definitions, applications, conceptualization, model of intelligence, and influence on learning. It was discussed the belief that critical thinking represents a model of intelligence, and that the critical thinking has an influence on learning and decision making process.

About the author

James has more than 30-years of work experience, including Coaching, Mentoring, Counselling, Hypnotherapy, NLP, TimeLine Therapy, Thought Field Therapy, and Autogenic Training. Moreover, James holds a wide range of academic qualifications, and certifications, including Doctorate in Clinical Hypnotherapy, Master of Business Coaching, Certified Professional Coach, Diploma of Autogenic Training, Diploma of Stress Management, Diploma of Psychology, and Diploma of Weight Loss.

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References

Edmondson, V.C. & Shannon, J.P. 2020, “From Critical Thinking to Critical Voicing for Impact”, IUP Journal of Soft Skills, vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 27-45.

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