Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of conceptualizing, applying, analysing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information collected from or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication as a guide to belief and action, actively and skilfully. In essence, logical thought is not that complicated as it may seem. Critical thinking comes down to analysing information consciously and consistently so that you can make better choices and better understand problems in general. There are so many terms in the above description since critical thinking allows you to apply different analytical resources to diverse knowledge.
- Ask Basic Questions
Often an answer is so complicated that it loses the original question. To prevent this as you set out to solve the problem, constantly go back to the simple questions you asked.
Here are a few simple main questions that can be asked when discussing any issue:
- What do you know already?
- How do you understand that?
- What do you intend to assert, disprove, reveal, criticize, etc.?
- What do you overlook?
- Question Basic Assumptions
Some of human history’s greatest innovators were those who looked up for a moment and wondered if one of the general beliefs was incorrect. The challenging of assumptions, from Newton to Einstein to Yitang Zhang, is where creativity takes place.
- Be Aware of Your Mental Processes
Human thinking is great, but when we attempt to think objectively, the speed and automation at which it occurs can be a detriment. To explain what’s happening around us, our brains naturally use heuristics (mental shortcuts).
When we were hunting big game and battling wild animals, this was helpful to humans, but it can be devastating when we try to determine who to vote for.
A rational thinker is conscious of their cognitive biases and personal prejudices and how they affect decisions and strategies that are apparently “objective.”
In our thinking, both of us have prejudices. Becoming mindful of them is what makes it possible for rational thought.
- Try Reversing Things
Trying to reverse stuff is a great way to get “unstuck” on a hard problem. That X causes Y can seem obvious, but what if Y caused X?
A classic example of this is the’ chicken and egg dilemma.’ It seems clear, first of all, that the chicken had to come first. The chicken, after all, lays its egg. But then you soon remember that the chicken had to come from somewhere and the eggs had to come first because the chickens came from eggs. Or did it? What if the reverse turns out not to be valid, considering it will put you on the road to seeking a solution?
- Evaluate the Existing Evidence
It is often useful to look at other work that has been completed in the same field when you’re trying to solve a problem. If someone has already laid the foundations, there’s no need to start solving a problem from scratch.
However it’s crucial to critically analyse this detail, or else you can easily draw the wrong conclusion. Ask the following questions about any facts you find:
- Who collected this proof?
- How have they gathered it?
- Remember to Think for Yourself
In study and reading, don’t get so bogged down that you fail to think for yourself. This can often be your most strong instrument. Don’t be overconfident, but understand that to answer difficult questions, thinking for you is important. When writing essays, I find this to be true-it is so easy to get lost in the work of other people that I neglect to have my thoughts. Don’t make a mistake here.
More common sense than extraordinary ability or IQ is involved in critical thinking skills. To think better, you do not need to learn complex techniques. Using your reasoning skill, you will craft the most suitable decision-making rules for yourself. You will gradually strengthen the thought process as you approach logical thinking skills as a process to pursue. So, make sharpening your brain practice and your mind will follow your command.