Define Critical Thinking Concepts

This section is provided to define critical thinking concepts.

Before get ting started let's ask the question: What is Critical Thinking?

It is the ability to make and carry out informed decisions by efficiently utilizing your lifetime education, knowledge, experience, common sense, reasoning, intuition, feelings, and confidence.

Next, here are many of the key concepts when developing critical thinking skills.

Critical Thinking Skills

There are many critical thinking skills. Five primary ones are:

• A Curious and Open Mind
• Thinking Though Issues
• Analyzing Issues from Multiple View Points
• Doing Needed Investigation
• Intuitive and Non-Intuitive Thinking

Barriers to Critical Thinking

This area will define critical thinking barriers. The primary ones are:

• Egocentric Thinking
• Social Conditioning
• Biased Experience
• Arrogance and Intolerance
• Time and Patience
• Group Think--The Herd Mentality
• The Drone Mentality

Critical Thinking Questions

Two critical questions to ask when determining validity of information:

• Does this information make sense?
• What does my common sense; intuition, experience, and education tell me about this information?

Next, continually question:

• Information and Information sources
• Assumptions
• Interpretations and Implication
• Conclusions

Breaking The Code!

Here are methods for doing tasks, solving problems and breaking the code of how things work.

The Scientific method

The Pareto Principle

Problem Solving Games

Finding the Root Cause

Working Backwards

Using History as a Guide

Accelerated Learning

To effectively data mine use: Just in Time Learning

The following are common resources to doing investigation on any subject.

• The Internet
• Internet Bookstores
• Traditional Bookstores and Libraries
• Top Experts
• Local Experts
• Classes and Software

The 8 Problem Solving Steps

Here is a process for doing projects and achieving objectives.

Part I: Define your project or objective
Part II: Structure and then complete it

The Steps for Part II are:

Step 1: Use your past knowledge
Step 2: Visualize your desired results
Step 3: Frame your project or objective
Step 4: Collect the facts and data
Step 5: Determine your available options
Step 6: Pick a solution and implement
Step 7: Modify or change if required Step 8: Review your lessons learned

Comparison Studies

The steps for doing a comparison study are:

Step 1: Limit your search
Step 2: Investigate
Step 3: Reviewing the weighing factors
Step 4: Narrow your search
Step 5: Make your final selection

The 7 Decision Making Steps

Let’s define critical thinking as it applies to decision making.

There are several factors that affect your decisions.

• Money
• Stress
• Time
• Facts, data and resources

The decision making process is:

1. Experience, book knowledge & common sense
2. Wisdom
3. Better decisions
4. More fun and a better existence

The seven steps for making effective decisions are:

Step 1 — Gather the facts and data
Step 2 — Make your assumptions
Step 3 — Identify your options
Step 4 — Use logic and common sense
Step 5 — Incorporate your feelings
Step 6 — Make your decision
Step 7 — Modify or change your decision if needed

Here are some helpful decision making methods. They are:

• The Pareto Diagram (for comparison studies)
• The Ben Franklin Balance Sheet Close (for yes or no decisions)
• Thin Slicing (for quick decisions)

The Power of Your Multiple Intelligences

Here is a non-exhaustive list of human intelligences:

• Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
• Linguistic Intelligence
• Music Intelligence
• Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
• Spatial-Intelligence
• Interpersonal Intelligence
• Intrapersonal Intelligence

Essential aspects of thinking are:

• Convergent Thinking
• Divergent Thinking

Return from Define Critical Thinking Concepts to Problem Solving Techniques