Critical Thinking

Essay by smgbowskiUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 2009

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Critical ThinkingThe basic description of critical thinking would be a logical thought process that allows a person to distinguish between fact and opinion (Paul and Elder, 2006). Therefore, critical thinking could be considered a logical mental process that involves knowledge or research of specific subject matter presented to determine fact from opinion rather than taking information presented at face value and rolling with it. For a person to be able to make logical decisions based on critical thinking he or she must acknowledge the need for crucial decisions, appropriately recognize alternatives, put the time into reasoning through decisions, and develop a knowledge of ignorance to discern between fact and opinion (Paul and Elder 2006). Carter, Bishop, and Kravits (2007) stated, "Critical thinking is defined as the process of gathering information, analyzing it in different ways, and evaluating it for the purposes of gaining understanding, solving a problem, or making a decision."

Critical thinking involves more than just thinking. Critical thinking is a process that has to be practiced, to be perfected. One has to be able to set aside any personal barriers in order to make the best decision.

Critical thinking involves maintaining a questioning attitude, and double-checking both the reliability of information and the interpretation of the information. The critical thinkers are knowledgeable of their biases and limitations, fair-minded, keenly aware of the powerful influence of their own perceptions, values, and beliefs, but seeking to treat all viewpoints alike, willing to exert a conscious effort to work in a planful manner, gathering information, checking for accuracy, and persisting, even when solutions aren't obvious or require several steps (Kirby, G.R., & Gooodpaster, J.R. 2007). They are organized and systematic in their approach to solving problems and making decisions. They are flexible, able to explore and imagine alternatives, and change...