Living an adult life, or a pre-adult one can be difficult, most notably when we, as individual beings, get struck by difficult decisions that must be made. However, if one starts asking him/herself what is critical thinking and how can it help him live a better life, the possibilities and the quality of decision-making and, ultimately, of his life decisions will improve significantly. So: what is critical thinking in everyday situations?
What is Critical Thinking?
One simple way of saying what is critical thinking is this: “the ability and disposition to improve one’s thinking by systematically subjecting it to intellectual self-assessment.”
Naturally, this would seem insufficient. Critical thinking is a systematic way of thinking about any type of subject, content or problem by analyzing, assessing and reconstructing that subject. It does not necessarily have to be an abstract problem. It generally envisages even day to day activities in which one ponders if what s/he is doing is right. Critical thinking will help someone make better quotidian decisions by better assessing his own decisions up to that point. And the assessing if those decisions were beneficial.
Then, if what s/he is thinking about a given subject is logical, coherent, concise, and traceable in terms of cause and effect.
Critical Thinking Use
It is quite difficult to assess exactly what is critical thinking because we have a natural tendency to do it all the time. Whenever someone says something that we do not agree with. Or when we do not fully understand what is being said. When this happens, our mind tries to take hold of the information. And then take it through a deconstruction process so as to better understand what we are told, and what message it conveys.
Another way of saying what is critical thinking is this: thinking out of the box. That is, whenever we are confronted with a situation without a seeming way out. We, then, try to figure a way out by searching for a solution outside of our current field of view. And many inventors, thinkers and artists alike have found a use for critical thinking. (Think of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, to name just a few.)
Improving One’s Character
A third way of answering to what is critical thinking is by thinking of it as the way of improving our own selves.
We all have our biases, or prejudices and so on. But, through the use of critical thinking, we can better understand our own selves. And the way in which we can better understand the other. For, it is a problem of establishing a better rapport with the other one, or own peers.
Therefore, the overall answer to what is critical thinking is that people display the ability to better apprehend the meaning of their own decisions and life an all levels. This includes parenthood, loverhood, professionally and as citizens too.
Image source: critical-thinkers.com