16 Qualities That Help Form Critical Thinking

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1. Observation

This is one of the very first skills acquired in childhood. It includes the ability to notice details and collect data using the senses. As a result, our observations lead to the formation of our own opinion and a deeper understanding of reality.

2. Curiosity

Interest in the world and the people around is a trait of many leaders with developed critical thinking. With age, we cease to follow innate curiosity, but it is precisely this that helps us to be open to everything new and encourages us to deepen our knowledge. To develop it, do not take everything for granted, but constantly wonder why things are arranged the way they are.

3. Objectivity

It is impossible to be 100% objective because we are strongly influenced by our worldview and past experiences. Nevertheless, always try to look at the situation as impartially as possible, analyze it. Focus on facts and scientific assessment of the information available. Try not to let the emotions of others and your feelings influence your reasoning.

4. Introspection

These are reflections on the structure of your thought processes. Self-analysis gives an idea of your possible delusions, as well as how attentive you are. It helps to explore your innermost thoughts, feelings and sensations.

5. Analytical thinking

The ability to analyze information is important in any matter: when signing a contract, writing a report or a business plan, even in building relationships with people. To do this, you need to break down information into its component parts and evaluate how they function together and separately. The analysis should be based on observation, collection and evaluation of evidence. Only then can you draw an objective conclusion.

6. Ability to identify misconceptions

Look for evidence of your beliefs and check whether the sources of your knowledge are trustworthy. This will help identify misconceptions that often go unnoticed and distort our perception.

When evaluating some information, think about who it can benefit. Is there any hidden benefit for the source from it? Are facts that contradict this information being hushed up?

7. Ability to determine the significance of information

One of the main difficulties is to understand what information is especially relevant and significant in a particular situation. All incoming data seems valuable at first, but this is not always confirmed. Consider whether the source of information is current, whether it is unbiased, or whether it detracts from a more important point of view.

8. Ability to make assumptions based on facts

We don’t always get information explaining what it means. You need to evaluate it and draw your own conclusions based on raw data. In this case, it is necessary to take into account possible scenarios for the development of events.

But do not confuse the ability to make assumptions based on facts with simple guesses. For example, if you read that someone weighs 118 kilograms, you might think that this person is overweight and in poor health. Although to draw a conclusion, you need to know his height and constitution.

9. Empathy

Compassion may seem superfluous for critical thinking, because sentimentality and emotionality distort our perception. But without empathy, we look at everything only in terms of dry data and facts. This view quickly spreads to all areas, and we begin to doubt everything.

To think effectively critically, you need to take into account the human factor. Don’t forget that in the situations you face, it’s not just the data that matters, but also the people .

10. Lack of arrogance

Admit your mistakes and don’t exaggerate your strengths. Knowing your own weaknesses and strengths is an important element of critical thinking. So don’t dismiss other people’s opinions without thinking. Try to notice when you are wrong and be prepared to change your views if necessary.

11. Willingness to challenge the status quo

Don’t settle for traditional methods just because you’ve followed them before. Look for reasonable answers and ways that take into account all the information available. This readiness to disrupt the status quo may seem provocative, but it is at the heart of innovative approaches.

12. Openness to everything new

Don’t jump to conclusions. Approach each situation with an open mind and accept other people’s views and opinions. Don’t take sides until you know all points of view. This will help you take a holistic view of the situation.

13. Awareness of typical thinking errors

Do not let delusions and illusions confuse you. Explore common cognitive fallacies that often creep into reasoning and debate. Here are some examples:

  • An explanation in which the premise or derivation of an argument is used to justify the argument itself.
  • The easy path fallacy is when you persist in sticking to your preferred view, even if there are more likely explanations.
  • Confusion in causal dependence and connection between phenomena. If two events happen at the same time, it seems that one caused the other.

14. Get creative

Usually, creativity is associated with the generation of ideas, and critical thinking with their analysis and evaluation. But a creative approach will help non-standard attitude to solving any problems.

Don’t cling to patterns. Start new interests to look at the case from different points of view. Experiment and put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

15. Ability to communicate effectively

Problems in communication often arise from the inability to assess the situation or look at the matter from the other side. This is what critical thinking is for. It helps to correctly build their own judgments and express them, as well as to follow the train of thought of the interlocutor.

16. Ability to listen

It is important not only to convey your opinion to others, but also to be able to listen to someone else’s. Actively participate in the conversation rather than passively listening to the person. Ask questions to clearly separate facts from your assumptions. Try to get more information and understand the interlocutor, delving into the topic of the conversation and clarifying what is not clear.

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