photo of a woman thinking. Critical Thinking skills

What are critical thinking skills

Critical thinking skills have become quite the talk of the town. These skill sets are being appreciated in every walk of life. With the importance these skills hold, it has become important to entertain and analyse everything about them. As Aristotle said,

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

What are critical thinking skills ?

There is not a proper and well-defined definition for the critical thinking skills.

Critical thinking skills can be termed as a skill set, responsible to help you be determined with clarity as well as logic while coming to a solution.

Though hard to define, critical thinking is basically to conduct an analysis on various data, situations, facts and  requirements that are provided to you. Critical thinking is supposed to be biased free. A person has to be very objective while deducing a solution using critical thinking.

Education is not the learning of acts. But the training of mind to think – Albert Einstein

An example of critical thinking:

“Everyone as a child has been told that Santa Claus is someone who gives away gifts to children. A child here will believe the statement instantly, going all “Hoorah!!”. A critical thinking person on the other hand will think about the possibilities of how real  Santa Claus is, without paying heed to the gifts!” and will sound like “Hmmm…A Santa Claus huh?!”

What are some widely known critical thinking skills?

Nothing has been made to be the marked and finalised versions of types of critical thinking skills. But there are some that can be easily deduced and are very helpful. Some of them are processed and also analysed below,

1. Identification

Identification might not sound to be very important. But, it is the first step towards your end results. Any situation or problem can be tackled when you identify the cause or factors influencing it. The point where you have identified the situation, with,

  • every different person involved in the situation
  • Various factors that might be influencing the situation

This is the very point where you can start to work towards finding a solution to the problem.

The skills of identifying the various aspects of a situation, can be improved through being more realistic. Using your headspace less than the original space. You can always start by seeking answers to certain direct questions. The questions should be all aimed at the situation in-hand.

2. Conducting Research

Conducting research to analyse your problem aptly is very important. Any issue can be met with solutions only with proper Research and comparison it underwent. You should be smart enough to know that arguments put by various factors in a situation, can be persuaded into believing something that is not true.

You can only solve this problem through questioning the source of these arguments and also finding out the context behind them. Further, Your best bat into finding the resources can be by proper Research and Analysis of this very problem of arguments.

The best way to enhance your ability to conduct research is by being critical about the source of claim. So you should make sure that the argument put forth is from a reliable source. Such questioning will also help you get improved skills of conducting research.

Another factor you need to look out for is, popularity does not account for reliability or truthfulness. Therefore do not consider the popularity of an article is directly proportional to the truthfulness.

3. Keep check of  biases

Recognising biases can be one of the most difficult tasks. Therefore this critical thinking skill requires special attention. It is very important to critically analyse as well as scrutinize the information at hand.

You need to be neutral and also analyse arguments from both the angles. In doing so it is also important to mark out the biases mentioned by the arguments of the two angles. Being bias free helps you to reach a solution which is best fit.

4. Inference

To be an Ace at critical thinking skills, you need to be very good at reaching a confusion regarding any situation. This can be done by a proper analysis of the information provided to you and inferring a conclusion. Information is a piece that provides you with the necessary knowledge about the field you searched for. To understand and reach a conclusion for it is what you need to do. To infer conclusions is many times your responsibility as a critical thinker.

It is important to analyse and also gather related information to the best of your abilities. This will help you increase your inference skill as well as reach the best conclusion for the problem at hand.

5. Determining relevance

Determining relevance of a certain piece of information or argument presented to you, is very hard of a critical thinking skill. There is a ton of information present in today’s times. But being sure of what you need is very important. This will help you eliminate the information of less relevance, making your way towards a solution easier.

Determining the relevance of a certain fact or piece of information available is a very important critical thinking. To have an improved relevance determining skill, you need to have clarity of the “WHAT”, this what symbolises, your need for this piece of information. Why did you need it in the first place.

6. Curiosity

Being curious is very important for your personal growth. And curiosity is a critical thinking skill because it helps you question. For example, question the data presented to you, question the facts and analyse them. This is a way for you to find problems out at places appearing extremely clean. A single word question, “Why?” also brings great changes into your way of thinking and the possible solution to a problem. So, never suppress that, “Why” and see magic happening.   

Curiosity brings productivity. Productivity to be the best at your work. Productivity that makes you have improved critical thinking skills. The curiosity levels can be increased by into a frenzy of asking questions. So remember to never stop questioning!

How important are critical thinking skills?

To make recognising and analysing the importance of critical thinking skills, some very important points can be deduced. Some of those points are mentioned below,

Not limited to any specific domain or field.

No matter the field we are in, we should be completely clear and rational while making our views or deducting ideas on a certain topic. Critical thinking skills can prove to be beneficial in various fields of work.

They benefit you in educational, research based, financial and various such fields of work. Here, the thing of importance is, critical thinking do not limit themselves in a particular field or domain of work.

No matter what your career path is, being a rational and thinker with clarity will help you grow immensely. 

The new knowledge economy benefits from good critical thinking skills.

We find the knowledge economy globally being completely dependent upon both knowledge as well as technology and advancements. Adaptability is the must required trait with the ever-changing economy. New knowledge economy is inclined towards empowering people, with the

  • flexibility in their intellect,
  • the analytical skills, and
  • gathering information and evaluating, to ensure the best output 

The above requirements are very easily met by polished critical thinking. Economy is changing rapidly. One powerful tool for empowering your position in changing the economy is critical thinking skills. It will help you be the “odd one out”.

Both your language as well as presentability gets enhanced

Clarity in thinking is the best method to bring in the required improvements while presenting your ideas to people. With being clear you also need to work on your systematic ability to manage data and analyse it.

This also is very beneficial for enhancing your presentability. While enhancing your analysis as well as presentation skills, you will find these are critical thinking skills giving way to, enhancing your language.  

Say thanks to Critical thinking for your increased creativity levels!

Creative thinking and curiosity are the key to creativity – Amala Akkineni

Yes, creativity levels might be measured by the generation of newer ideas. The new ideas that are brought out of a person’s brain. Ideas that prove quite apt to the problem at hand. The new ideas, ready to bring a revolutionary change.

But, are these new popping ideas enough? No, the critical analysis of these ideas is necessary. Scrutinising them will bring out the best. This will bring greater success than any ideas without analysing. 

Learn more about Creative thinking skills!

Introspection is promoted by Critical thinking skills

Introspection and reflection. Of our actions and their relatability to our values, becomes very necessary. Specially in the long run, we need to see if the actions we perform are justified by our moral standards. The standards that we preach. And critical thinking skills can prove to be immensely beneficial when it comes to promoting introspection.

Both science and democracy find good critical thinking to be part of the founding pillars.  

Science and critical thinking have connected roots. Science is a branch of study which deals with the critical analysis as well as some conducting various experiments to confirm theories. This is just how critical thinking play important here. 

Critical thinkers are very necessary for the proper functioning of a democratic institution or country. This is the best way to reform a society in the best possible manner.

What are some practical approaches to bring in use, the critical thinking skills?

There are many ways that critical thinking skills can prove to be the merit that they are. You can bring your immensely in demand skills to highlight. For example, some of the clear approaches are:

Resume hinting good critical thinking skills.

A resume hinting towards good critical thinking skills can grab the employer’s attention. You can mention or hint at good critical thinking skills, by using various keywords hinting towards critical thinking. For example, some of such keywords are: creative problem solving and good at analysing.

Remember to mention skills that you ace at. While mentioning keywords in the resume can be helpful. You can also try mentioning the critical thinking skills at the end of your resume or the summary.

An example of hinting critical thinking skills is, “Content creator with about 3 years of in hand experience with SEO and analytic tools. Good at conducting research and analysing data for best results. Accessing and analysing the content to the best of client’s needs is another important quirk.”

Cover Letter with highlighted critical thinking skills.

Your letter can also accumulate a mention of the critical thinking skills that you are good at. Administration for the skills can be presented through giving out scenarios where your critical thinking skills were at work.  A single mention of your creative problem solving skills can also be beneficial.

 Bring out your critical thinking skills to impress the interviewer

Thinking skills can also be very helpful in impressing your interviewer. Use of critical thinking keywords can benefit your interview ten folds. For example, talking across the incidents where your critical thinking skills were brought into action will grab the interviewer’s attention. Providing a hint to critical thinking skills by the use of keywords will help you a great deal.

At some interviews some people are provided with the various scenarios where critical thinking skills need to be brought into action. This is where you have to play your cards right.

 Remember, the intention of this scenario being provided, reason not to find the end results. Instead, the interviewers want to assess and analyse your way through the problem solving. Remember to provide them with the systematic way towards your solution. Such factors make you more eligible for being selected.

Conclusion

Critical thinking skills prove to be one of the very important skill sets required. With ever changing scenarios, it is important for every person to analyse and thus act accordingly. There are various critical thinking skills that have been mentioned above. Importance of critical thinking and their practical uses is also provided for a better understanding. With making use of this write-up, Analyse and Act!

Article Credit:

This article is contributed by Ms Rashi Arera. Passionate about writing, Rashi sees herself as an artistically inclined and intellectually dominant individual. Writer by profession, her goal is conveying knowledge while maintaining relatability.

More Articles from Ms Rashi Arera

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