Critical Thinking Vocabulary
The following critical thinking vocabulary is a list of key words and phrases used in critical thinking, problem solving and decision making.
Act as if:
A behavior that encourages respect from others.
A procedure used for solving a problem.
Barriers to critical thinking:
Threats to the critical thinking process.
Begging the question:
When one question leads to another question or series of questions.
Broken windows theory:
If windows are broken and left un-repaired then people walking by will assume no one cares and no one is in charge. Lawlessness will increase.
A path of investigation that takes you in a direction that won’t lead to the information you are looking for.
Blue sky thinking:
Sitting in a comfortable chair, getting a cup of warm tea, kicking back your feet and contemplating a deep subject.
To only do those things that most interest you.
Climb out of one’s box:
Leaving one’s comfort zone.
Things that you feel comfortable with.
Comparing different products and services to determine the highest quality best value product. It is also called comparison shopping.
Similar to an epidemic, the behavior of the general population is changed because of the behavior of a small percentage of people.
Bringing together facts and data from various sources and then applying logic and knowledge to come up with a problem solution or to achieve an objective.
The process of locating useful information when investigating.
A form of scientific reasoning commonly used by doctors in the medical profession to diagnose a medical condition. It is used in other field as well.
Not taking things at face value and doing more investigation.
Is thinking outwards instead of inward. It is the ability to develop original and unique ideas and then come up with a problem solution or achieve an objective.
Aspects are interrelated in decision making. When important components are addressed, many of the lesser components are addressed as a natural side effect.
Not questioning whether something is correct or incorrect.
Frame of reference:
Experience, education, upbringing, culture and a wide array of other factors contribute to how someone views the world.
An event that changes how you view the world, who you are, or your life in general.
When you feel buried in information and have difficulty knowing what to do next.
A person who can explain difficult subject matter by restating it for people who want to learn about it, but aren’t in that particular field.
Questions asked to help improve your life.
Just in time learning:
By using effective data mining you are able to learn what you need to know, when you need to know it.
When the information is so ridiculous that you know it has to be wrong.
Learning the ropes:
A term commonly used that means non-intuitive learning.
Right brain left brain crossover:
Using both the right and left parts of the brain to make sound, rational and logical decisions you feel good about.
Is determining what went right, what went wrong and what could have been done differently after completing a project, achieving an objective, or solving a problem.
Norm of thinking:
What is reflected by radio, television, news papers, magazines and the Internet.
A rough order of magnitude on how the world operates. It governs many scenarios in life in which 80 percent of the results come from 20 percent of the inputs.
Point of Diminishing Returns:
The point during investigation when your time and energy generate minimal worthwhile facts and data. It can be though of as the opposite of the 80/20 rule. It is determined by a personal decision based on knowledge, experience, reasoning, intuition and common sense.
Exceptional knowledge, reasoning, training, intuition, common sense, confidence and quickness.
At that moment.
A bad feeling.
Rocking chair test:
A simple mental exercise that is done by imagining that you are in a rocking chair in the final years of your life. Ask yourself questions and use your personal history as a guide to help you decide on making any potential improvements to your future.
The primary cause(s) of a problem.
Asking whether your thinking is logical and rational.
Asking a trusted colleague or friend about his or her interpretation of information.
Deciding on what features and/or options that are important to you when doing a comparison study such as price, quality/reliability and usefulness.
Taking an honest look at your strengths, weaknesses and what you want out of life.
A hidden resource for helping to do projects or achieving objectives.
When the price of a product is low in comparison to the service life remaining.
Reviewing alternatives, options, risks, uncertainties and final goal helps ensure informed decisions and taking appropriate actions.
The ability to focus on a small set of critical variables to make a quick decision rather than consciously considering every possible variable.
Imagined scenarios to understand the way things are.
Is the point at which ideas, or messages, or behaviors of a population changes rapidly. It is caused by contagious behavior.
Train of Thought:
A logical progression of thoughts that can lead to a rational solution when doing a project or achieving an objective. It can also be used when solving a problem or answering a question. A stream of logic is also known as a train of thought.
When a method of critical thinking can be used in another field.
Trial and error:
Trying something to see if it works. If it doesn’t work, try something else.
The relative importance (ranking them) of each factor used in a comparison study.
Wrapped around the axle:
Looking at the same information again and again expecting it to yield something useful when it has little that you need.
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