Critical Thinking

Essay by kbingham February 2010

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AbstractBefore any words are spoken, decisions made or actions taken, the act of thought is done before any of these. Critical thinking is a conduit of though in which a person uses to locate deeper meanings to our every day situations and events. Critical thinking is behind every critical decision that is made in our lives as well as in the workplace. In this paper I will discuss what critical thinking is and how it can be applied in the workplace.

Critical thinking has been best described by the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking in a statement made by Michael Schriven and Richard Paul in 1987:"Critical Thinking is the intellectually disciplined process f actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness".

"Critical thinking…is incorporated in a family of interwoven modes of thinking, among them: scientific thinking, mathematical thinking, historical thinking, anthropological thinking, economic thinking, moral thinking, and philosophical thinking". (Paul, R. & Schriver, M., 1987)A critical thinker will use perception as a tool in creating a more understandable outcome. Through asking questions and creating a deeper thought process, the thinker will formulate, collect, and evaluate the information and come to a true outcome. A critical thinker needs to always keep an open mind and consider all available options.

Within the critical thinking process, perception is a vital source. The connection between perception and critical thinking is not often a clear line. To attain this understanding, perception and critical thinking must first initially be defined prior to understanding the...