Critical Thinking Tools and Techniques

Essay by rlcballenUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, February 2005

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Critical Thinking Tools and Techniques

What is Critical Thinking? Merriam-Webster (2004) defines thinking as: the action of using one's mind to produce thought. Although when trying to define "Critical" thinking, you have to take it even further. Critical thinking is a process that your mind has to go through to produce that thought. Critical thinking can be defined as being able to examine and issue by breaking it down, and evaluating it in a conscious manner, while providing arguments/evidence to support the evaluation (Unknown, 2004). .Within this paper I will address the how and why critical thinking is so important in our everyday lives.

Asking questions and using the answers to understand the world around us is what drives critical thinking. There are eight characteristics of critical thinking, perception, assumption, emotion, language, argument, fallacy, logic and problem solving (Wade 1995).

Perception is the way we view and understand things. How we look at them.

We will not have the total view of things if we do not question them. Using questioning, we sharpen our perception of the event. Perception is not always reality; it is formed around past experience and available resources. Influences of those around us also effect our perception. Merriam-Webster (2004) defines perception to be knowledge by the senses and/or intellect by the mind of what is presented to it. Perception therefore, can be both physical and intellectual.

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Assumptions are evaluations or generalizations influenced by values and based on observing cause and effect (Carter, Bishop, Lyman, 2002 pg. 100). They can often hide within truthful statements. An assumption can influence your

choices and many people don't question whether their assumptions make sense. Assumptions can be learned from many sources such as parents, educators, the media and personal experiences. They can close you're your mind...