Critical thinking is concerned with reason, intellectual honesty and open-mindedness. It is the act of “thinking about thinking”. Moreover, it is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. [s]
To think critically is to:
- Examine all the evidence objectively
- Be open to alternative perspectives and possibilities
- Consider the pros and cons of every viewpoint and explanation
- Understand and evaluate arguments effectively
- Construct thoughtful beliefs, decisions and actions
- Rely on reason over emotion
- Question assumptions, generalizations and conclusions
- Become aware of personal prejudices, motives and biases
- Not allow yourself to be swayed by others
- Find the truth, whether it means being right or wrong
Critical thinking is a form of convergent thinking where you try to develop a common understanding based on the information, evidence and data you have collected. In other words, it is the act of bringing thoughts and information from different directions into a union or into one common conclusion.
Critical thinking requires that you are rational, self-aware, honest, open-minded, disciplined, meticulous, precise and judgemental. You must be skeptical by nature and overly active — constantly willing to ask the tough questions that will help you to uncover hidden meanings and assumptions. Moreover, you must be willing to challenge your own beliefs and investigate competing evidence.
Critical Thinking and Visual Thinking
Thinking critically throughout the visual thinking process will allow you to examine the evidence — the information you have collected — and the ideas you have generated objectively. It will encourage you to keep an open mind to all possibilities and take into consideration a variety of perspectives, opinions, and viewpoints that may help you find the answers you are searching for.
More information about critical thinking will be provided in due time.