9 Tips On How To Develop Critical Thinking Skills

develop critical thinking skills

Critical thinking is no longer a strange concept in the world. People are talking about it everywhere, from university to workplace, from developed countries to poor religions. The importance of critical thinking has never been considered as properly as it is now. Thinking critically is believed to be a new intellect of the modern times that can reflect one person’s ability to analyze daily problems and make the right decision. As it is not a specific talent that people are born with, critical thinking requires practice and efforts. Ironically, while this concept’s popularity spreads out all over the world at surprising speed, not many people know how to develop critical thinking skills effectively. Thus, VKool.com will have you know more about critical thinking and different ways of training yourself to think critically.

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9 Tips On How To Develop Critical Thinking Skills

I. What Exactly Is Critical Thinking?

According to “The Foundation for Critical Thinking”, critical thinking is technically the intellectually well-organized process of skillfully and actively conceptualizing, applying, studying, synthesizing, and finally, evaluating information generated by, or gathered from, observation, reflection, experience, communication, or reasoning, as a guide to action and belief.

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This definition above is quite detailed yet a little bit wordy. There is another way to understand the critical thinking term more straightforwardly. Critical thinking is just a systematical and deliberate process of solving information in an effective way so that you can generally understand things better, make better decisions and be more confident in conversation. Basically, critical thinking skill requires you to use various intellectual tools to diversify the information. Now, you can get ways to improve your conversation skills by clicking at: Conversation confidence review

These are the key things you should remember from both these definitions above before learning how to develop critical thinking skills. First of all, different ways to think critically about information include:

  • Conceptualizing
  • Examining
  • Synthesizing
  • Evaluating

Secondly, gathered information can come from some kinds of sources, for example:

  • Observation
  • Experience
  • Reasoning
  • Reflection
  • Communication

Lastly, the purpose of all these above information is to support:

  • Beliefs
  • Action

Some people also have a unique way to explain the critical thinking. They define it as the opposite of regular thinking. Every moment of the day, our brain never stops thinking. Instead of doing it automatically, you can deliberately use the intellectual tools to reach a better, more accurate conclusions. This action will definitely benefit you more than the unconsciously thinking of the brain. It is also good for a child development

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II. How To Develop Critical Thinking Skills

If you try to search about this concept, you will find a lot of results about how to develop critical thinking skills. These various options suggesting different ways for you to practice your daily thinking can also cause confuse because it is not easy to pick one from numerous choices. Therefore, in this part, simple yet effective ways to develop critical thinking skills will be recommended. They are very useful tips that can help you to train your way of thinking and process the information. Let explore the advised interesting ways to practice critical thinking skills.

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1. Ask Basic Questions

how to develop critical thinking skills - ask basic questions

It sounds very easy, right? Actually, this action is more complicated than what you can expect. Many people get lost when they receive a complex explanation for their problem. This intricate answer fools them and makes they forget about the original question. Therefore, let practice your way of thinking by coming back to the basic questions. What do you want to know? What have you already known? By asking the simple, basic question, you can see the problem in a throughout view. Some of the most spectacular solutions to problems are surprising not for their complexity, but actually because of their graceful simplicity. Therefore, keep in your mind to always seek for the simple solution first before trying with the complicated one.

2. Question Basic Assumptions

Another thing that you should know when you learn how to develop critical thinking skills is the basic assumption. We all make lots of assumptions about everything. It is the way our brain processes certain information so that we can get along in daily life. These assumptions are the grounds of our critical framework and, based on the assumptions we make a decision and make a judgment about everything around us. But what if all of your belief turned out to be wrong? Or at least they are not entirely truthful? Your world seems to start to fall apart and you have to rebuild the whole foundation. To avoid that, you have to keep asking about your assumptions. What would happen if Einstein had never questioned the assumption of Newtonian about laws of motion? All human beings may have lived with a wrong perception about the world’s movement and science may have gone the wrong way. You can say that Einstein’s critical thinking has saved the world.

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3. Keep An Open Mind

An open mind is required for critical thinking. Obviously, the world is too enormous for a narrowed mind to understand. If you don’t know how to develop critical thinking skills, you should learn to keep an open mind first. Things you know today may be wrong in the next day. Things are not allowed in the past may be a common stuff in the future. If your mind is restricted, you will be cut off from reality. Characteristics of a closed mind are a rigid set of attitudes and opinions or the reluctance to a discussion. Taking with a person from that type is similar to taking to a brick wall. If you want to process information properly, first of all, you have to get all the information. Only an open mind can allow you to do that. However, being open-minded does not require you go back to the truth as you used to know or accept every single point of view. In fact, sometimes, critical thinking will help you to stand by your belief and perspective. The truth will survive despite questioning; only the illusion is pressured by the change of thought.

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4. Try Reversing Things

Have you ever been asked the question “which came first: Chicken or egg?” This question is the typical example for thinking reversely. So, how to develop critical thinking skills by this way of thinking will be released.  Scientists have proved that a genius way to find a solution for hard problems is to try reversing everything. It seems obvious that chicken lays eggs so they must have come first. But, on the second thought, where did the chicken come from? Did it come from eggs? So, eggs must come first! Whenever you think about one problem, remember this chicken and eggs story. One thing seems to be the cause can actually be the result and conversely. Looking at a different point of view can help you to think more critically and find the solution more effectively.

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5. Understand Your Own Biases

how to develop critical thinking skills - understand your own biases

There are a lot of factors that can have an impact on our perspective and decision. One of them is the own biases. Human judgment can be frail, subjective, and spiteful due to this factor. You will have to recognize your mindset before learning how to develop critical thinking skills. Sometimes, people’s decision is opposite to what they know because of their own preconceptions. One recent study pointed out that parents who received the corrected information about the benefits and safety of vaccines were actually less likely to get their kids vaccinated. The reason is that understanding does not always go with the right action. Realizing what your biases are as well as where these biases may affect the way you deal with information will the tips that show you how to develop critical thinking skills.

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6. Read Great Books

Books can teach us everything. There is no doubt about the benefits books offer to human beings. And it is true that great books can help you to learn how to develop critical thinking. When you read a book, you not only receive the interesting information but also learn the way the information is interpreted and analyzed. Questioning and answering during the reading time also be effective in training the brain to keep working in a critical way. Never stop enriching your knowledge and widening your view. Because, once again, a narrowed mind cannot go anywhere with critical thinking, reading more and more book is one of the best ways to open your world and to develop critical thinking. If you want to know more information, click at: Benefits of reading books

7. Put Yourself In Peoples' Shoes

Empathy can also show you how to develop critical thinking skills. Whether it is about understanding literature better or improving your negotiation tactics, placing yourself in the others’ shoes will help you understand and imagine their aspirations, motivations, and turmoil. You can apply this information to be persuasive, get leverage or just basically be a better person. Once you understand properly, the way of thinking will be more accuracy and suitable for the situation.

8. Playing With People Smarter Than You

There is no way to learn better than learning from your friends. If you only want to be a big fish swimming in the little pond just because your ego feels good, let keep this part. If you are wondering about how to develop critical skills, let make friends with smart people and throw away your ego. In addition, if you are eager to learn, to get better at something, especially developing critical thinking skills, surround yourself with people who are smarter than yourself. Not only can you learn from them the way to think critically, you can get a lot of lessons and experience from their story and personal life. Smart people often have an effective way of processing information and a wide, profound point of view that can help them be successful. They definitely can teach you a lot about how to develop critical thinking.

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9. It Is Impossible To Think Critically 100% Of The Time

You can learn how to develop critical thinking skills to make the best decision. You can study different ways to improve your way of viewing the world. However, no matter how good you are at these things, you may not think in a critical way all the time, and you know what? That’s okay. It is understandable that sometimes, the decision you have made is not the most suitable one for the situation. It is also tolerant if you make mistake in analyzing the problem. Critical thinking is just a tool that you had better apply when you need to give important decisions or to solve difficult problems. However, it does not mean that you have to think critically every time about everything. At some points of life, you may experience lapses in your interpretation. It is not a big deal. What matters is that you have to recognize these lapses so that you can stay away from them in the future. Even the genius Isaac Newton used to make mistake when he was strongly convinced that alchemy was, for sure, a legitimate pursuit. The thing you have to keep in your mind when you study how to develop critical thinking skills is that learning from the mistakes is essential.

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It is not easy to learn how to develop critical thinking skills. It is a long process that requires a lot of patient and practice. It may take you a few week to lose a pound but will take you months, even years to change your way of thinking and the decision making process. There are a number of tips can show you how to develop critical thinking skills effectively and make better decisions. However, you will have to choose those ones that fit with your own style. If you can think critically, this habit can benefit you a lot in your personal life as well as your career. If you have any more ideas about how to develop critical thinking skills, please share with us. For more information, please visit the main page Lifestyle.

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