Are You One: Characteristics and Signs of Critical Thinkers

It has been proven beyond doubt that critical thinking if applied correctly, leads to increased creativity, enhanced work performance, and a lowering of negative life experiences.

And these are just some of the benefits of critical thinking. Aristotle said it well: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

What is critical thinking? 
Critical thinking covers a wide variety of thought processes. To help you understand what critical thinking is, take a look at the list below:

Are You a Critical Thinker?

  • Analysing
  • Evaluating
  • Interpreting
  • Problem solving
  • Questioning

An example of critical thinking, consider the way that attorneys work. Firstly, they examine the evidence. Then, they use critical thinking in order to create a plan to win their case (or to settle out of court).

Signs of critical thinking
Now that you understand what critical thinking is about, I’m sure you’re curious to know how to recognise the signs of critical thinkers. One major giveaway of critical thinkers is the fact that they tend to be highly successful.

Here are some further signs of critical thinkers:

  • They are creative, innovative individuals
  • They are fascinated by how things work
  • They get their news and views from a wide variety of sources
  • They are always asking questions
  • They have levelheaded conversations with people they disagree with

Question things
To become adept at critical thinking, you must learn to question things. This includes questioning statements from authority figures, general assumptions, and even your own beliefs. Try asking yourself these questions: “Do I believe everything I was taught at school?” “Are my beliefs really my own? “Does my government lie to me?”

Think for yourself
Stop accepting everything you are told, and begin thinking for yourself. For example, a guitar teacher may have taught you how to play guitar in a certain way, but can you now improve on that way? By thinking for yourself, you’ll unleash your creativity and boost your self-confidence.

Evaluate evidence
Evidence can be a great way to find answers to issues you may be experiencing. However, don’t just take evidence at face value. Instead, evaluate all evidence by asking: “Who gathered it, how was this done, and why?” These probing questions will enable you to quickly identify evidence that is sound – and evidence that you should steer clear of.

Personal biases
If you’re honest with yourself, most times you probably think you’re right. While this may be the case, when making decisions, you must put aside any personal biases or beliefs. Critical thinking needs to look at different perspectives and points of view before reaching a conclusion.

I know it’s hard to think outside of your personal biases, but for the sake of your success in life – you must try to do so.

Consider motive
Like a great detective, you must become skilled at uncovering motive. For example, think of a time that a company offered you a free product to try. All you needed to do was give some basic personal details to them.

Breakdown issues 
Instead, break down the issue into smaller components. These might include: getting the best payout from your employer, ensuring that all your bills are covered, seeking new work opportunities. Big problems seem much less scary when you break them down into small pieces. - Lifehack

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