Critical thinking is more importantthan people think it is.

It’s one of the aspects that helps overcomesdifficulties and facilitates the access to information in everyday life. Theworld as it is now needs people with many capabilities e.g. understanding, morethan one way of thinking, research, problem solving, critical thinking and alsocreativity. The researchers Watson and Glizer,they believe critical thinking is a combination of various characteristics suchas knowledge, attitude and the individual performance. They believe the skillsyou have to have to be a critical thinker must include perception, assumptionrecognition deduction, interpretation, and evaluation from reasoning that islogical. The definition that Watson and Glizer have come up with has been thebasis of many critical thinking tests that have been widely used to measurecritical thinking.

 In life loads of statements aremade such as ‘eating meat is murder, ‘euthanasia is murder’, ‘don’t do drugs’, ‘alienshave visited earth’, ‘abortion is murder’. And naturally as humans we all haveour own mind and we ask ourselves why to these various statements. We ask whybecause we want a reason to believe, often we go why should I believe that if Ieat meat its murder or that drugs are bad for me. When you question the statementin this way, you’re not only asking for a reason but also a justification foraccepting the belief or taking the recommended action. This is thinkingcritically. In order to answer the question ‘Whatis critical thinking?’ we must understand it first. Critical thinking in anutshell is essentially being able to analyse your own thought process in sucha way that you recognise its strengths and weaknesses.

As a result of doingthis it allows us to reconsider our viewpoint and reconstruct our thought processin a new and improved form. This isn’t just easy to do, for you to be able todo this you must be able to open your mind to other viewpoints and be confidentenough to question your own views. Also, not being naive to believe that becausesomething is online it doesn’t necessarily mean It’s true.

 In order to develop your skills incritical thinking you first need to know why it’s important. Critical thinkingis especially important in student lives and particularly important in aworkplace area too. Critical thinking allows you to think both objectively andcritically about a particular issue, and in turn will allow you to open yourmind to present a well-constructed argument. Having and developing this skillsetwill help you massively at university, for me especially its had quite a largeimpact. Before coming to university, I hadno idea what critical thinking was. Over the past couple months, I learnt howcritical thinking can open you to a whole new aspect of thinking. The skills I acquiredare not just skills for the present, they’re skills that assist you through life.Before being able to think more critically, when writing an essay about a topicthat I had a belief about I would always be biased to my belief rather thanpresenting both viewpoints equally and backing up both sides of the argumentwith sound evidence.

Now being able to think more critically, its allowed menot only to be open-minded to the ideas and views of others but also allowingme to be honest in facing my own biases and prejudices.  However, I’m still not perfect,even though through critical thinking I’ve acquired skills such as being ableto find strengths and weaknesses in my own thought process or facing my ownbiases and prejudices (to a certain extent) I still find it hard to actuallycompletely open my mind to new ideas. Something that I recently have foundparticularly hard recently to open my mind to is the argument about religionand science.  Me personally am a firmbeliever in Hinduism, and have been raised in the culture of it my whole life. AsI grew up I studied theology and philosophy as a GCSE, and that gave me adifferent perspective on the issue however I was still strong minded inbelieving that my belief was the only right one.

Bear in mind I had to hardsound evidence backing up my belief I was just going on what I had been toldand what I had read in various religious scripts and story’s which were allbeliefs that hadn’t actually been proven.  Although this is a setback in mycritical thinking, it’s something I plan to work on over the next month and comeinto semester two being able to fully have acquired the skill of completelybeing open-minded to other beliefs and ideas. As an update, swallowing my ownpride I found countless of studies with sound evidence against what I believedin.

Although tough to take I had to argument back for it, it was as simple as theirstudies had been backed up with sound reliable evidence and my belief hadn’t. Iknow this is an extreme case of critical thinking and it may be on the boundariesbut for me it was a big part in allowing me to think critically to my fullpotential. Not only did it help me overcome being closed minded but also gaveme the skill of being able to re-present my thinking in an improved from and presentwell-constructed arguments not just based on belief. One very important skill to havewhen writing essays is critical analysis. It entails thinking about the issuesat hand and evaluating them. Instead of just describing the topic you arewriting about, you should explain and also back your explanation up withevidence and evaluate it also.

This gives a reason for why things are said ordone. Being objective is also essential, this means that your able to stand backand weighing up the evidence even if you happen not to agree with it. How youcan remain objective is by examining the positives and negative aspects of allthe issues at hand. Another excellent way of remaining objective is evaluatinga selection of different theories but by using the third person rather than thefirst.

 To be a good critical thinker youmust be able to also listen. We are more prone to speaking than listening. So,we need to acquire the skill of letting someone speak without interrupting,anticipating what they are going to say and allowing them thinking time to letthem get across what they want. Being able to do this enables us to hear notonly what the person is saying but what is behind their words. Questioning whatthe person has to say after he has spoken is also a good thing to do as it letsus to get clarification about something that was unclear, or unpackingassumptions and challenging anything you thought had weak reasoning.

Openquestions to the audience whom your addressing is generally preferable toclosed ones because it allows the speaker to expand further about his viewpointand also elaborate on points that may have been questioned by the audience. Bynot posing questions or challenging one’s beliefs, you’re not being a goodcritical thinker, as not asking questions could leave doubts in your mind oreven make you misinterpret what the speaker is saying. By not posing challengesor questions you might not be able to fully understand what the speaker issaying and therefore may not accept their viewpoint. To conclude this essay, criticalthinking has many characteristics such as being able to open your mind tobeliefs of others, being able to find strengths and weaknesses in your ownthought pattern and being honest on your own biases and prejudices.

Those arejust to name a few. Critical thinking opens your mind to a whole new thinkingpattern and allows you to base your reasons soundly and backed with evidencebut also allows you to challenge ideas and beliefs and by enabling yourself tothink critically its starts to make you want not just reason to believe it but justificationalso.

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