Critical have to be a critical thinker

Critical thinking is more important
than people think it is. It’s one of the aspects that helps overcomes
difficulties and facilitates the access to information in everyday life. The
world as it is now needs people with many capabilities e.g. understanding, more
than one way of thinking, research, problem solving, critical thinking and also
creativity.

 

The researchers Watson and Glizer,
they believe critical thinking is a combination of various characteristics such
as knowledge, attitude and the individual performance. They believe the skills
you have to have to be a critical thinker must include perception, assumption
recognition deduction, interpretation, and evaluation from reasoning that is
logical. The definition that Watson and Glizer have come up with has been the
basis of many critical thinking tests that have been widely used to measure
critical thinking.

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In life loads of statements are
made such as ‘eating meat is murder, ‘euthanasia is murder’, ‘don’t do drugs’, ‘aliens
have visited earth’, ‘abortion is murder’. And naturally as humans we all have
our own mind and we ask ourselves why to these various statements. We ask why
because we want a reason to believe, often we go why should I believe that if I
eat meat its murder or that drugs are bad for me. When you question the statement
in this way, you’re not only asking for a reason but also a justification for
accepting the belief or taking the recommended action. This is thinking
critically.

 

In order to answer the question ‘What
is critical thinking?’ we must understand it first. Critical thinking in a
nutshell is essentially being able to analyse your own thought process in such
a way that you recognise its strengths and weaknesses. As a result of doing
this it allows us to reconsider our viewpoint and reconstruct our thought process
in a new and improved form. This isn’t just easy to do, for you to be able to
do this you must be able to open your mind to other viewpoints and be confident
enough to question your own views. Also, not being naive to believe that because
something is online it doesn’t necessarily mean It’s true.

 

In order to develop your skills in
critical thinking you first need to know why it’s important. Critical thinking
is especially important in student lives and particularly important in a
workplace area too. Critical thinking allows you to think both objectively and
critically about a particular issue, and in turn will allow you to open your
mind to present a well-constructed argument. Having and developing this skillset
will help you massively at university, for me especially its had quite a large
impact.

 

Before coming to university, I had
no idea what critical thinking was. Over the past couple months, I learnt how
critical thinking can open you to a whole new aspect of thinking. The skills I acquired
are 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 topic
that I had a belief about I would always be biased to my belief rather than
presenting both viewpoints equally and backing up both sides of the argument
with sound evidence. Now being able to think more critically, its allowed me
not only to be open-minded to the ideas and views of others but also allowing
me 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 able
to find strengths and weaknesses in my own thought process or facing my own
biases and prejudices (to a certain extent) I still find it hard to actually
completely open my mind to new ideas. Something that I recently have found
particularly hard recently to open my mind to is the argument about religion
and science.  Me personally am a firm
believer in Hinduism, and have been raised in the culture of it my whole life. As
I grew up I studied theology and philosophy as a GCSE, and that gave me a
different perspective on the issue however I was still strong minded in
believing that my belief was the only right one. Bear in mind I had to hard
sound evidence backing up my belief I was just going on what I had been told
and what I had read in various religious scripts and story’s which were all
beliefs that hadn’t actually been proven.

 

Although this is a setback in my
critical thinking, it’s something I plan to work on over the next month and come
into semester two being able to fully have acquired the skill of completely
being open-minded to other beliefs and ideas. As an update, swallowing my own
pride I found countless of studies with sound evidence against what I believed
in. Although tough to take I had to argument back for it, it was as simple as their
studies had been backed up with sound reliable evidence and my belief hadn’t. I
know this is an extreme case of critical thinking and it may be on the boundaries
but for me it was a big part in allowing me to think critically to my full
potential. Not only did it help me overcome being closed minded but also gave
me the skill of being able to re-present my thinking in an improved from and present
well-constructed arguments not just based on belief.

 

One very important skill to have
when writing essays is critical analysis. It entails thinking about the issues
at hand and evaluating them. Instead of just describing the topic you are
writing about, you should explain and also back your explanation up with
evidence and evaluate it also. This gives a reason for why things are said or
done. Being objective is also essential, this means that your able to stand back
and weighing up the evidence even if you happen not to agree with it. How you
can remain objective is by examining the positives and negative aspects of all
the issues at hand. Another excellent way of remaining objective is evaluating
a selection of different theories but by using the third person rather than the
first.

 

To be a good critical thinker you
must 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 let
them get across what they want. Being able to do this enables us to hear not
only what the person is saying but what is behind their words. Questioning what
the person has to say after he has spoken is also a good thing to do as it lets
us to get clarification about something that was unclear, or unpacking
assumptions and challenging anything you thought had weak reasoning. Open
questions to the audience whom your addressing is generally preferable to
closed ones because it allows the speaker to expand further about his viewpoint
and also elaborate on points that may have been questioned by the audience. By
not posing questions or challenging one’s beliefs, you’re not being a good
critical thinker, as not asking questions could leave doubts in your mind or
even make you misinterpret what the speaker is saying. By not posing challenges
or questions you might not be able to fully understand what the speaker is
saying and therefore may not accept their viewpoint.

 

To conclude this essay, critical
thinking has many characteristics such as being able to open your mind to
beliefs of others, being able to find strengths and weaknesses in your own
thought pattern and being honest on your own biases and prejudices. Those are
just to name a few. Critical thinking opens your mind to a whole new thinking
pattern and allows you to base your reasons soundly and backed with evidence
but also allows you to challenge ideas and beliefs and by enabling yourself to
think critically its starts to make you want not just reason to believe it but justification
also.