With that in mind, you’re likely wondering what you can do to make sure you’re not one of those people.Developing your critical thinking skills is something that takes concentrated work.
How to improve: When facing any new situation, question or scenario, stop to take a mental inventory of the state of affairs and ask the following questions: When comparing arguments about an issue, independent research ability is key.
Arguments are meant to be persuasive—that means the facts and figures presented in their favor might be lacking in context or come from questionable sources.
Even if you want to be a better critical thinker, it’s hard to improve upon something you can’t define.
Critical thinking is the analysis of an issue or situation and the facts, data or evidence related to it.
For example, a child who has not yet developed such skills might believe the Tooth Fairy left money under their pillow based on stories their parents told them.
A critical thinker, however, can quickly conclude that the existence of such a thing is probably unlikely—even if there are a few bucks under their pillow.
It is also important to note that not all inferences will be correct.
For example, if you read that someone weighs 260 pounds, you might infer they are overweight or unhealthy.
“The ability to think critically is more important now than it has ever been,” urges Kris Potrafka, founder and CEO of Music Firsthand.
“Everything is at risk if we don’t all learn to think more critically.” If people cannot think critically, he explains, they not only lessen their prospects of climbing the ladder in their respective industries, but they also become easily susceptible to things like fraud and manipulation.