Critical thinking is an important and necessary skill to have, and it must be taught and practiced. It is the ability to evaluate and analyze information without judgment or bias. Thinking critically includes a willingness to challenge our beliefs and change them, when appropriate. As the US Presidential election draws nearer, Americans are bombarded with information about the two candidates, their positions, and track records. It is too easy to believe everything you hear about the other because of your own political affiliation. To see a candidate as all good or all bad is not thinking critically. This is the time to question the information, and analyze it in systematic way. To practice and improve your critical thinking skills you must be honest and self-aware; take stalk of your current beliefs and values and examine the source and reasons for them. Beliefs should be grounded in reason and evidence, not our emotional experiences. It doesn’t mean we can’t be passionate about our beliefs, but critical thinkers recognize the complexity of ideas, and the subtleties or the grey areas. To see things in black and white is passive, thinking critically is reactive, interpreting and analyzing facts and data objectively to evaluate ideas. Practicing critical thinking also requires an open mind, the ability to consider multiple viewpoints and perspectives, and be open to a new explanation or alternate interpretation. Improved critical thinking will increase your ability to problem solve, interpret new information, communicate your beliefs and values, and understand different perspectives. Our country needs critical thinkers more than ever before so start practicing now. It’s never too late to become a critical thinker.
For any of you nerds out there who to know more about Critical Thinking or want a cool resource, click here for favorite videos about it.