Critical Thinking Essay

1440 words - 6 pages

Critical Thinking and Its Applications
Many lessons are learned in life. Some lessons are instructions on how to be polite, how much of a tip should be given for different services, and how to be professional. Another lesson not often taught in the workplace or at home, are the hows and whys of critical thinking. Critical thinking is an important skill and can be described as the careful and deliberate determination to accept, reject, or suspend judgment about a claim. In this, critical thinking is the process of evaluating what people say and write in determining whether to believe their statements or not. This paper will provide a concise definition of critical thinking, and examples ...view middle of the document...

Critical thinking is an imperative part of the decision making process. When a person is unable to think clearly, they are using the form of self-centered thinking, and their perspective is inward; they are unable to understand the needs and thoughts of others. When a person is in this thinking mode, they are concerned more about themselves and they are not fully capable of taking into consideration the viewpoints and problems of others. If one allows his unconscious mind to take over, he will be making decisions based upon what he believes to be right and good. The mind will be selfish and make sure it does not go out of its comfort zone and into the territory where the issue is too complex and complicated and an easy answer cannot be given. One has to try to be fair-minded and rational, and control the thoughts that control us (Paul & Elder, 2006). A person whom is able to think clearly and rationally is fair-minded and willing to listen to the opposing views of others. He is also willing to acknowledge when he is wrong (Paul & Elder, 2006). A critical thinker also considers many angles when making decisions such as: clarity and relevance.
Clarity is defined as being “clear and transparent” and can also refer to “one’s ability to visualize an object or concept” (Wikipedia, 2008). In essence clarity is asking questions in order to make a subject clearer, leaving vagueness out of the equation. Relevance is a term used to describe “how pertinent, connected, or applicable something is to a given matter. A thing is relevant if it serves as a means to a given purpose” (Wikipedia, 2008). In this, relevance pertains to asking clarifying questions to ensure a clear understanding of the problem, and a solution to keep it on track.
The skill of critical thinking has several benefits. According to Paul and Elder, strong sense critical thinkers are not easily tricked by slick argumentation, by sophistry and intellectual trickery (2006). Critical thinkers are willing to listen to arguments and empathize with the viewpoints of others. They will change their views when faced with better reasoning (Paul & Elder, 2006). When a person is not easily tricked, they have the chance to step back and appraise and analyze the situation, giving them an advantage over those who dive headfirst into the problem. When one has stepped back from a situation, when he does voice reasons, he is not reacting out of emotion or intuition, but rather out of clear mind with a unique understanding of the issue art hand (Paul and Elder 2006).
Critical thinking is a skill which is used in everyday life. When one has and uses critical thinking skills, one is able to make better decisions and solve problems more quickly and fittingly. One is more apt to analyze and consciously examine the data for any inconsistencies and biases from his past and present rather than use intuition or what if scenarios.
Recently a decision was needed in regard to work and employment. Having...

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