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Critical Thinking and Decision-Making  - What is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking and decision-making  -, what is critical thinking, critical thinking and decision-making what is critical thinking.

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Critical Thinking and Decision-Making: What is Critical Thinking?

Lesson 1: what is critical thinking, what is critical thinking.

Critical thinking is a term that gets thrown around a lot. You've probably heard it used often throughout the years whether it was in school, at work, or in everyday conversation. But when you stop to think about it, what exactly is critical thinking and how do you do it ?

Watch the video below to learn more about critical thinking.

Simply put, critical thinking is the act of deliberately analyzing information so that you can make better judgements and decisions . It involves using things like logic, reasoning, and creativity, to draw conclusions and generally understand things better.

illustration of the terms logic, reasoning, and creativity

This may sound like a pretty broad definition, and that's because critical thinking is a broad skill that can be applied to so many different situations. You can use it to prepare for a job interview, manage your time better, make decisions about purchasing things, and so much more.

The process

illustration of "thoughts" inside a human brain, with several being connected and "analyzed"

As humans, we are constantly thinking . It's something we can't turn off. But not all of it is critical thinking. No one thinks critically 100% of the time... that would be pretty exhausting! Instead, it's an intentional process , something that we consciously use when we're presented with difficult problems or important decisions.

Improving your critical thinking

illustration of the questions "What do I currently know?" and "How do I know this?"

In order to become a better critical thinker, it's important to ask questions when you're presented with a problem or decision, before jumping to any conclusions. You can start with simple ones like What do I currently know? and How do I know this? These can help to give you a better idea of what you're working with and, in some cases, simplify more complex issues.  

Real-world applications

illustration of a hand holding a smartphone displaying an article that reads, "Study: Cats are better than dogs"

Let's take a look at how we can use critical thinking to evaluate online information . Say a friend of yours posts a news article on social media and you're drawn to its headline. If you were to use your everyday automatic thinking, you might accept it as fact and move on. But if you were thinking critically, you would first analyze the available information and ask some questions :

  • What's the source of this article?
  • Is the headline potentially misleading?
  • What are my friend's general beliefs?
  • Do their beliefs inform why they might have shared this?

illustration of "Super Cat Blog" and "According to survery of cat owners" being highlighted from an article on a smartphone

After analyzing all of this information, you can draw a conclusion about whether or not you think the article is trustworthy.

Critical thinking has a wide range of real-world applications . It can help you to make better decisions, become more hireable, and generally better understand the world around you.

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Critical Thinking: Pengertian, Manfaat, dan Contoh Penerapannya

  • Azzahra Ilka Aulia
  • October 6, 2023
  • Artikel , Business

Critical thinking adalah sebuah skill yang perlu dimiliki oleh setiap orang agar dapat membuat keputusan dan menyelesaikan masalah dengan baik. Skill ini biasanya ditandai dengan orang yang mampu berpikiran secara cermat dalam segala situasi.

Kemampuan ini tentu akan sangat berguna bagi seseorang dalam menjalankan pekerjaannya. Lalu, bagaimana cara berpikir kritis dengan baik?

Artikel di bawah ini akan menjelaskan tentang critical thinking dengan secara jelas. Simak artikel berikut ini sampai selesai, ya!

Apa itu Critical Thinking ?

Critical thinking adalah sebuah cara untuk berpikir dan mengkritik sesuatu dengan mempertanyakan suatu ide atau permasalahan.

Lebih lanjut, critical thinking artinya berpikir kritis atau dapat dipahami sebagai pola pikir yang tidak menerima informasi secara mentah.

Berpikir kritis umumnya melibatkan kemampuan untuk mengambil keputusan dengan cara yang bijak. Selain itu, berdasarkan definisi tersebut, berpikir kritis juga suatu pemahaman untuk menghasilkan keputusan yang paling optimal.

Critical thinking dapat dipahami sebagai salah satu soft skill yang sangat penting dalam membantu seseorang berorganisasi dan karyawan dalam perusahaan. Dengan memiliki pikiran yang kritis, suatu permasalahan dan keputusan dapat diselesaikan dengan tepat.

Manfaat Critical Thinking

Dengan kemampuan berpikir kritis, tentu banyak manfaat yang didapat bagi diri sendiri dan golongan. Berikut ini adalah beberapa manfaat berpikir kritis.

1. Kemampuan Berpikir Kritis dan Kreatif Meningkat

Dari berpikir kritis, Anda dapat melatih diri sendiri dengan menyelidiki dan mengajukan pertanyaan terhadap lingkungan di sekitar. Berpikir kritis dapat meningkatkan sisi kreatif dalam diri sendiri. 

2. Kemampuan Problem Solving Meningkat

Skill pemecahan masalah sangat penting bagi diri sendiri dan juga bagi perusahaan. Dengan kemampuan problem solving dapat memungkinkan seseorang untuk mengidentifikasi, menganalisis, dan mencari solusi yang efektif terhadap suatu masalah.

3. Membuat Keputusan dengan Tepat

Membuat keputusan yang tepat melibatkan kemampuan berpikir kritis. Sebelum memutuskan sesuatu dengan tepat, kemampuan untuk mengevaluasi informasi, mempertimbangan opsi, dan memilih tindakan yang paling sesuai dengan tujuan yang dihadapi

4. Komunikasi yang Efektif Meningkat

Komunikasi yang efektif merupakan salah satu skill yang yang penting bagi pribadi dan profesional. Komunikasi yang efektif memungkinkan seseorang untuk menyampaikan pesan dengan jelas sehingga pesan yang disampaikan dapat dipahami oleh orang lain.

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Komponen Critical Thinking

Berpikir kritis melibatkan beberapa komponen yang penting untuk membantu individu dalam menganalisis informasi dengan kritis.

Berikut ini adalah beberapa komponen berpikir kritis.

  • Observing adalah proses mengamati sebuah objek, kejadian, atau informasi secara seksama dan kemudian memahami atau mencari pola hubungannya.
  • Feeling adalah perasaan respons emosional atau perasaan yang timbul dari hasil suatu pengalaman atau situasi.
  • Wondering berarti proses bertanya-tanya atau ingin tahu lebih tentang suatu fenomena yang mendorong eksplorasi lebih lanjut. 
  • Imagining berarti membayangkan atau membentuk gambaran tentang sesuatu yang belum terjadi atau digunakan untuk mengembangkan kreativitas dan inovasi.
  • Inferring adalah menyimpulkan dengan logis berdasarkan bukti atau petunjuk yang tersedia.
  • Knowledge adalah informasi atau pengetahuan yang dimiliki oleh seseorang mengenai sebuah topik atau bidang tertentu.
  • Consulting adalah mencari atau meminta saran, pandangan, dan nasihat kepada orang yang memiliki pengetahuan dan pengalaman tentang suatu bidang.
  • Identifying and analyzing adalah proses mengidentifikasi dan menganalisis sebuah elemen atau komponen untuk memahami strukturnya dalam pemecahan masalah.
  • Judging berarti memberikan penilaian atau evaluasi terhadap sesuatu berdasarkan kriteria tertentu.
  • Deciding adalah mengambil keputusan setelah mempertimbangkan berbagai informasi yang ada.

Indikator Critical Thinking

Critical thinking yang diperlukan dalam individu

Kemampuan berpikir kritis memiliki indikator menjadi klarifikasi dasar untuk memberikan alasan dari sebuah kesimpulan. Berikut ini adalah beberapa indikator dari critical thinking .

1. Menyimpulkan ( Inference )

Menyimpulkan berarti adalah kemampuan untuk membuat kesimpulan atau asumsi berdasarkan bukti atau informasi yang ada.

2. Klarifikasi Lebih Lanjut ( Advanced Clarification )

Klarifikasi lebih lanjut adalah kemampuan untuk memperjelas atau menjelaskan informasi yang kurang jelas atau ambigu dengan bertanya pertanyaan yang tepat atau mencari klarifikasi tambahan.

3. Dugaan dan Keterpaduan ( Supposition and Integration )

Dugaan dan keterpaduan adalah kemampuan untuk membuat asumsi atau dugaan yang rasional, kemudian mengintegrasikan informasi tersebut ke dalam pemahaman atau penalaran yang lebih besar.

Cara Membentuk Kemampuan Critical Thinking

Dalam membentuk kemampuan berpikir kritis, tidak hanya dibentuk begitu saja. Namun, perlu mengembangkan kemampuan lainnya agar seimbang.

Berikut ini adalah cara melatih agar dapat berpikir dengan kritis.

  • Memahami konsep dari berpikir kritis.
  • Mengembangkan sikap yang terbuka.
  • Melatih analisis secara kritis.
  • Menggunakan keterampilan berpikir yang bijak.
  • Melibatkan debat dan diskusi pada setiap kesempatan.
  • Mempraktikkan pemecahan masalah.
  • Memperdalam materi dan wawasan mengenai cara mendorong berpikiran kritis.
  • Mengelola manajemen waktu.
  • Menerima kritik dan saran dari setiap orang untuk membangun diri sendiri.

Contoh Critical Thinking

Berpikir kritis dalam tim yang harus dimiliki setiap orang

Skill critical thinking dapat memberikan kemungkinan seseorang untuk menganalisis, menilai, dan membuat keputusan dengan baik. Oleh karena itu, berpikir kritis harus diterapkan dalam segala bidang.

Berikut ini adalah beberapa contoh berpikir kritis yang dapat diterapkan dalam kehidupan sehari-hari. 

  • Ketika terdapat berita heboh yang muncul di internet, pembaca tentu akan langsung terpengaruh dan mungkin saja terpicu emosi. Orang yang memiliki pikiran kritis tentu tidak akan langsung percaya dengan berita yang tersebar karena bisa saja berita tersebut hoax.
  • Ketika guru menerangkan pelajaran di kelas, murid yang berpikiran kritis akan mengajukan pertanyaan terkait pelajaran yang belum mereka belum pahami.
  • Ketika pemerintahan mengesahkan sebuah peraturan, seseorang yang memiliki pikiran kritis tidak langsung menolak atau setuju. Mereka akan memahami isi peraturan tersebut apakah memberikan manfaat atau tidak bagi masyarakat.
  • Ketika merencanakan perjalanan, seseorang akan berpikir kritis untuk mempertimbangkan rute terbaik, biaya, akomodasi, dan kebutuhan perjalanan lainnya, serta membuat rencana yang efisien dan menyeluruh.
  • Seorang siswa akan berpikir kritis untuk memprioritaskan tugas, memperkirakan waktu yang diperlukan untuk masing-masing, dan memutuskan urutan yang paling efisien untuk menyelesaikan pekerjaan.
  • Seseorang yang memiliki konflik pribadi akan mencoba berpikir kritis untuk memahami perspektif orang lain, menganalisis akar permasalahan, dan mencari solusi yang adil dan menguntungkan semua pihak yang terlibat.

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Itulah penjelasan mengenai critical thinking dan penerapannya pada kehidupan sehari-hari yang perlu Anda ketahui. 

Dengan menerapkan critical thinking pada kehidupan sehari-hari, akan memberikan keuntungan dalam termasuk dalam pengambilan keputusan, berinteraksi dengan orang lain, mengelola waktu, serta menghadapi dan memecahkan masalah.

Lingkungan yang baik juga akan dapat meningkatkan cara berpikir dengan kritis. Sekawan Media adalah salah satu industri di bidang teknologi yang membutuhkan critical thinking.

Sekawan Media terus mengembangkan sudut pandang dan cara kerja dalam melihat tantangan teknologi dan industri sehingga kami dapat terus memberikan hasil yang terukur, aplikatif, dan terbaik untuk klien.

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How to build critical thinking skills for better decision-making

It’s simple in theory, but tougher in practice – here are five tips to get you started.

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Have you heard the riddle about two coins that equal thirty cents, but one of them is not a nickel? What about the one where a surgeon says they can’t operate on their own son?

Those brain teasers tap into your critical thinking skills. But your ability to think critically isn’t just helpful for solving those random puzzles – it plays a big role in your career. 

An impressive 81% of employers say critical thinking carries a lot of weight when they’re evaluating job candidates. It ranks as the top competency companies consider when hiring recent graduates (even ahead of communication ). Plus, once you’re hired, several studies show that critical thinking skills are highly correlated with better job performance.

So what exactly are critical thinking skills? And even more importantly, how do you build and improve them? 

What is critical thinking?

Critical thinking is the ability to evaluate facts and information, remain objective, and make a sound decision about how to move forward.

Does that sound like how you approach every decision or problem? Not so fast. Critical thinking seems simple in theory but is much tougher in practice, which helps explain why 65% of employers say their organization has a need for more critical thinking. 

In reality, critical thinking doesn’t come naturally to a lot of us. In order to do it well, you need to:

  • Remain open-minded and inquisitive, rather than relying on assumptions or jumping to conclusions
  • Ask questions and dig deep, rather than accepting information at face value
  • Keep your own biases and perceptions in check to stay as objective as possible
  • Rely on your emotional intelligence to fill in the blanks and gain a more well-rounded understanding of a situation

So, critical thinking isn’t just being intelligent or analytical. In many ways, it requires you to step outside of yourself, let go of your own preconceived notions, and approach a problem or situation with curiosity and fairness.

It’s a challenge, but it’s well worth it. Critical thinking skills will help you connect ideas, make reasonable decisions, and solve complex problems.

7 critical thinking skills to help you dig deeper

Critical thinking is often labeled as a skill itself (you’ll see it bulleted as a desired trait in a variety of job descriptions). But it’s better to think of critical thinking less as a distinct skill and more as a collection or category of skills. 

To think critically, you’ll need to tap into a bunch of your other soft skills. Here are seven of the most important. 

Open-mindedness

It’s important to kick off the critical thinking process with the idea that anything is possible. The more you’re able to set aside your own suspicions, beliefs, and agenda, the better prepared you are to approach the situation with the level of inquisitiveness you need. 

That means not closing yourself off to any possibilities and allowing yourself the space to pull on every thread – yes, even the ones that seem totally implausible.

As Christopher Dwyer, Ph.D. writes in a piece for Psychology Today , “Even if an idea appears foolish, sometimes its consideration can lead to an intelligent, critically considered conclusion.” He goes on to compare the critical thinking process to brainstorming . Sometimes the “bad” ideas are what lay the foundation for the good ones. 

Open-mindedness is challenging because it requires more effort and mental bandwidth than sticking with your own perceptions. Approaching problems or situations with true impartiality often means:

  • Practicing self-regulation : Giving yourself a pause between when you feel something and when you actually react or take action.
  • Challenging your own biases: Acknowledging your biases and seeking feedback are two powerful ways to get a broader understanding. 

Critical thinking example

In a team meeting, your boss mentioned that your company newsletter signups have been decreasing and she wants to figure out why.

At first, you feel offended and defensive – it feels like she’s blaming you for the dip in subscribers. You recognize and rationalize that emotion before thinking about potential causes. You have a hunch about what’s happening, but you will explore all possibilities and contributions from your team members.

Observation

Observation is, of course, your ability to notice and process the details all around you (even the subtle or seemingly inconsequential ones). Critical thinking demands that you’re flexible and willing to go beyond surface-level information, and solid observation skills help you do that.

Your observations help you pick up on clues from a variety of sources and experiences, all of which help you draw a final conclusion. After all, sometimes it’s the most minuscule realization that leads you to the strongest conclusion.

Over the next week or so, you keep a close eye on your company’s website and newsletter analytics to see if numbers are in fact declining or if your boss’s concerns were just a fluke. 

Critical thinking hinges on objectivity. And, to be objective, you need to base your judgments on the facts – which you collect through research. You’ll lean on your research skills to gather as much information as possible that’s relevant to your problem or situation. 

Keep in mind that this isn’t just about the quantity of information – quality matters too. You want to find data and details from a variety of trusted sources to drill past the surface and build a deeper understanding of what’s happening. 

You dig into your email and website analytics to identify trends in bounce rates, time on page, conversions, and more. You also review recent newsletters and email promotions to understand what customers have received, look through current customer feedback, and connect with your customer support team to learn what they’re hearing in their conversations with customers.

The critical thinking process is sort of like a treasure hunt – you’ll find some nuggets that are fundamental for your final conclusion and some that might be interesting but aren’t pertinent to the problem at hand.

That’s why you need analytical skills. They’re what help you separate the wheat from the chaff, prioritize information, identify trends or themes, and draw conclusions based on the most relevant and influential facts. 

It’s easy to confuse analytical thinking with critical thinking itself, and it’s true there is a lot of overlap between the two. But analytical thinking is just a piece of critical thinking. It focuses strictly on the facts and data, while critical thinking incorporates other factors like emotions, opinions, and experiences. 

As you analyze your research, you notice that one specific webpage has contributed to a significant decline in newsletter signups. While all of the other sources have stayed fairly steady with regard to conversions, that one has sharply decreased.

You decide to move on from your other hypotheses about newsletter quality and dig deeper into the analytics. 

One of the traps of critical thinking is that it’s easy to feel like you’re never done. There’s always more information you could collect and more rabbit holes you could fall down.

But at some point, you need to accept that you’ve done your due diligence and make a decision about how to move forward. That’s where inference comes in. It’s your ability to look at the evidence and facts available to you and draw an informed conclusion based on those. 

When you’re so focused on staying objective and pursuing all possibilities, inference can feel like the antithesis of critical thinking. But ultimately, it’s your inference skills that allow you to move out of the thinking process and onto the action steps. 

You dig deeper into the analytics for the page that hasn’t been converting and notice that the sharp drop-off happened around the same time you switched email providers.

After looking more into the backend, you realize that the signup form on that page isn’t correctly connected to your newsletter platform. It seems like anybody who has signed up on that page hasn’t been fed to your email list. 

Communication

3 ways to improve your communication skills at work

3 ways to improve your communication skills at work

If and when you identify a solution or answer, you can’t keep it close to the vest. You’ll need to use your communication skills to share your findings with the relevant stakeholders – like your boss, team members, or anybody who needs to be involved in the next steps.

Your analysis skills will come in handy here too, as they’ll help you determine what information other people need to know so you can avoid bogging them down with unnecessary details. 

In your next team meeting, you pull up the analytics and show your team the sharp drop-off as well as the missing connection between that page and your email platform. You ask the web team to reinstall and double-check that connection and you also ask a member of the marketing team to draft an apology email to the subscribers who were missed. 

Problem-solving

Critical thinking and problem-solving are two more terms that are frequently confused. After all, when you think critically, you’re often doing so with the objective of solving a problem.

The best way to understand how problem-solving and critical thinking differ is to think of problem-solving as much more narrow. You’re focused on finding a solution.

In contrast, you can use critical thinking for a variety of use cases beyond solving a problem – like answering questions or identifying opportunities for improvement. Even so, within the critical thinking process, you’ll flex your problem-solving skills when it comes time to take action. 

Once the fix is implemented, you monitor the analytics to see if subscribers continue to increase. If not (or if they increase at a slower rate than you anticipated), you’ll roll out some other tests like changing the CTA language or the placement of the subscribe form on the page.

5 ways to improve your critical thinking skills

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Beyond the buzzwords: Why interpersonal skills matter at work

Think critically about critical thinking and you’ll quickly realize that it’s not as instinctive as you’d like it to be. Fortunately, your critical thinking skills are learned competencies and not inherent gifts – and that means you can improve them. Here’s how:

  • Practice active listening: Active listening helps you process and understand what other people share. That’s crucial as you aim to be open-minded and inquisitive.
  • Ask open-ended questions: If your critical thinking process involves collecting feedback and opinions from others, ask open-ended questions (meaning, questions that can’t be answered with “yes” or “no”). Doing so will give you more valuable information and also prevent your own biases from influencing people’s input.
  • Scrutinize your sources: Figuring out what to trust and prioritize is crucial for critical thinking. Boosting your media literacy and asking more questions will help you be more discerning about what to factor in. It’s hard to strike a balance between skepticism and open-mindedness, but approaching information with questions (rather than unquestioning trust) will help you draw better conclusions. 
  • Play a game: Remember those riddles we mentioned at the beginning? As trivial as they might seem, games and exercises like those can help you boost your critical thinking skills. There are plenty of critical thinking exercises you can do individually or as a team . 
  • Give yourself time: Research shows that rushed decisions are often regrettable ones. That’s likely because critical thinking takes time – you can’t do it under the wire. So, for big decisions or hairy problems, give yourself enough time and breathing room to work through the process. It’s hard enough to think critically without a countdown ticking in your brain. 

Critical thinking really is critical

The ability to think critically is important, but it doesn’t come naturally to most of us. It’s just easier to stick with biases, assumptions, and surface-level information. 

But that route often leads you to rash judgments, shaky conclusions, and disappointing decisions. So here’s a conclusion we can draw without any more noodling: Even if it is more demanding on your mental resources, critical thinking is well worth the effort.

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5.3: Using Critical Thinking Skills- Decision Making and Problem Solving

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Introduction

In previous lessons, you learned about characteristics of critical thinkers and information literacy. In this module, you will learn how to put those skills into action through the important processes of decision making and problem solving.

As with the process of developing information literacy, asking questions is an important part of decision making and problem solving. Thinking is born of questions. Questions wake us up. Questions alert us to hidden assumptions. Questions promote curiosity and create new distinctions. Questions open up options that otherwise go unexplored. Besides, teachers love questions.

We make decisions all the time, whether we realize it or not. Even avoiding decisions is a form of decision making. The student who puts off studying for a test until the last minute, for example, might really be saying, “I’ve decided this course is not important” or “I’ve decided not to give this course much time.”

Decisions are specific and lead to focused action. When we decide, we narrow down. We give up actions that are inconsistent with our decision.

In addition to decision making, critical thinking skills are important to solving problems. We encounter problems every single day, and having a solid process in place is important to solving them.

At the end of the lesson, you will learn how to put your critical thinking skills to use by reviewing an example of how critical thinking skills can help with making those everyday decisions.

Using Critical Thinking Skills: Asking Questions

Questions have practical power. Asking for directions can shave hours off a trip. Asking a librarian for help can save hours of research time. Asking how to address an instructor—by first name or formal title—can change your relationship with that person. Asking your academic advisor a question can alter your entire education. Asking people about their career plans can alter your career plans.

You can use the following strategies to develop questions for problem solving and decision making:

Ask questions that create possibilities. At any moment, you can ask a question that opens up a new possibility for someone.

  • Suppose a friend walks up to you and says, “People just never listen to me.” You listen carefully. Then you say, “Let me make sure I understand. Who, specifically, doesn’t listen to you? And how do you know they’re not listening?”
  • Another friend tells you, “I just lost my job to someone who has less experience. That should never happen.” You respond, “Wow, that’s hard. I’m sorry you lost your job. Who can help you find another job?”
  • A relative seeks your advice. “My mother-in-law makes me mad,” she says. “You’re having a hard time with this person,” you say. “What does she say and do when you feel mad at her? And are there times when you don’t get mad at her?”

These kinds of questions—asked with compassion and a sense of timing—can help people move from complaining about problems to solving them.

Discover new questions. Students sometimes say, “I don’t know what questions to ask.” Consider the following ways to create questions about any subject you want to study or about any

area of your life that you want to change:

  • Let your pen start moving. Sometimes you can access a deeper level of knowledge by taking out your pen, putting it on a piece of paper, and writing down questions—even before you know what to write. Don’t think. Just watch the pen move across the paper. Notice what appears. The results might be surprising.
  • Ask about what’s missing . Another way to invent useful questions is to notice what’s missing from your life and then ask how to supply it. For example, if you want to take better notes, you can write, “What’s missing is skill in note taking. How can I gain more skill in taking notes?” If you always feel rushed, you can write, “What’s missing is time. How do I create enough time in my day to actually do the things that I say I want to do?”
  • Pretend to be someone else. Another way to invent questions is first to think of someone you greatly respect. Then pretend you’re that person. Ask the questions you think she would ask.
  • What can I do when ... an instructor calls on me in class and I have no idea what to say? When a teacher doesn’t show up for class on time? When I feel overwhelmed with assignments?
  • How can I ... take the kind of courses that I want? Expand my career options? Become much more effective as a student, starting today?
  • When do I ... decide on a major? Transfer to another school? Meet with an instructor to discuss an upcoming term paper?
  • What else do I want to know about ... my academic plan? My career plan? My options for job hunting? My friends? My relatives? My spouse?
  • Who can I ask about ... my career options? My major? My love life? My values and purpose in life?

Many times you can quickly generate questions by simply asking yourself, “What else do I want to know?” Ask this question immediately after you read a paragraph in a book or listen to someone speak.

Start from the assumption that you are brilliant. Then ask questions to unlock your brilliance.

Using Critical Thinking Skills in Decision Making

As you develop your critical thinking skills, you can apply them as you make decisions. The following suggestions can help in your decision-making process:

Recognize decisions. Decisions are more than wishes or desires. There’s a world of difference between “I wish I could be a better student” and “I will take more powerful notes, read with greater retention, and review my class notes daily.” Deciding to eat fruit for dessert instead of ice cream rules out the next trip to the ice cream store.

Establish priorities. Some decisions are trivial. No matter what the outcome, your life is not affected much. Other decisions can shape your circumstances for years. Devote more time and energy to the decisions with big outcomes.

Base decisions on a life plan. The benefit of having long-term goals for our lives is that they provide a basis for many of our daily decisions. Being certain about what we want to accomplish this year and this month makes today’s choices more clear.

Balance learning styles in decision making. To make decisions more effectively, use all four modes of learning explained in a previous lesson. The key is to balance reflection with action, and thinking with experience. First, take the time to think creatively, and generate many options. Then think critically about the possible consequences of each option before choosing one. Remember, however, that thinking is no substitute for experience. Act on your chosen option, and notice what happens. If you’re not getting the results you want, then quickly return to creative thinking to invent new options.

Choose an overall strategy. Every time you make a decision, you choose a strategy—even when you’re not aware of it. Effective decision makers can articulate and choose from among several strategies. For example:

  • Find all of the available options, and choose one deliberately. Save this strategy for times when you have a relatively small number of options, each of which leads to noticeably different results.
  • Find all of the available options, and choose one randomly. This strategy can be risky. Save it for times when your options are basically similar and fairness is the main issue.
  • Limit the options, and then choose. When deciding which search engine to use, visit many search sites and then narrow the list down to two or three from which to choose.

Use time as an ally. Sometimes we face dilemmas—situations in which any course of action leads to undesirable consequences. In such cases, consider putting a decision on hold. Wait it out. Do nothing until the circumstances change, making one alternative clearly preferable to another.

Use intuition. Some decisions seem to make themselves. A solution pops into your mind, and you gain newfound clarity. Using intuition is not the same as forgetting about the decision or refusing to make it. Intuitive decisions usually arrive after we’ve gathered the relevant facts and faced a problem for some time.

Evaluate your decision. Hindsight is a source of insight. After you act on a decision, observe the consequences over time. Reflect on how well your decision worked and what you might have done differently.

Think of choices. This final suggestion involves some creative thinking. Consider that the word decide derives from the same roots as suicide and homicide . In the spirit of those words, a decision forever “kills” all other options. That’s kind of heavy. Instead, use the word choice , and see whether it frees up your thinking. When you choose , you express a preference for one option over others. However, those options remain live possibilities for the future. Choose for today, knowing that as you gain more wisdom and experience, you can choose again.

Using Critical Thinking Skills in Problem Solving

Think of problem solving as a process with four Ps : Define the problem , generate possibilities ,

create a plan , and perform your plan.

Step 1: Define the problem. To define a problem effectively, understand what a problem is—a mismatch between what you want and what you have. Problem solving is all about reducing the gap between these two factors.

Tell the truth about what’s present in your life right now, without shame or blame. For example: “I often get sleepy while reading my physics assignments, and after closing the book I cannot remember what I just read.”

Next, describe in detail what you want. Go for specifics: “I want to remain alert as I read about physics. I also want to accurately summarize each chapter I read.”

Remember that when we define a problem in limiting ways, our solutions merely generate new problems. As Albert Einstein said, “The world we have made is a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far. We cannot solve problems at the same level at which we created them” (Calaprice 2000).

This idea has many applications for success in school. An example is the student who struggles with note taking. The problem, she thinks, is that her notes are too sketchy. The logical solution, she decides, is to take more notes; her new goal is to write down almost everything her instructors say. No matter how fast and furiously she writes, she cannot capture all of the instructors’ comments.

Consider what happens when this student defines the problem in a new way. After more thought, she decides that her dilemma is not the quantity of her notes but their quality . She adopts a new format for taking notes, dividing her notepaper into two columns. In the right-hand column, she writes down only the main points of each lecture. In the left-hand column, she notes two or three supporting details for each point.

Over time, this student makes the joyous discovery that there are usually just three or four core ideas to remember from each lecture. She originally thought the solution was to take more notes. What really worked was taking notes in a new way.

Step 2: Generate possibilities. Now put on your creative thinking hat. Open up. Brainstorm as many possible solutions to the problem as you can. At this stage, quantity counts. As you generate possibilities, gather relevant facts. For example, when you’re faced with a dilemma about what courses to take next semester, get information on class times, locations, and instructors. If you haven’t decided which summer job offer to accept, gather information on salary, benefits, and working conditions.

Step 3: Create a plan. After rereading your problem definition and list of possible solutions, choose the solution that seems most workable. Think about specific actions that will reduce the gap between what you have and what you want. Visualize the steps you will take to make this solution a reality, and arrange them in chronological order. To make your plan even more powerful, put it in writing.

Step 4: Perform your plan. This step gets you off your chair and out into the world. Now you actually do what you have planned.

Ultimately, your skill in solving problems lies in how well you perform your plan. Through the quality of your actions, you become the architect of your own success.

When facing problems, experiment with these four Ps, and remember that the order of steps is not absolute. Also remember that any solution has the potential to create new problems. If that happens, cycle through the four Ps of problem solving again.

Critical Thinking Skills in Action: Thinking About Your Major, Part 1

One decision that troubles many students in higher education is the choice of a major. Weighing the benefits, costs, and outcomes of a possible major is an intellectual challenge. This choice is an opportunity to apply your critical thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving skills. The following suggestions will guide you through this seemingly overwhelming process.

The first step is to discover options. You can use the following suggestions to discover options for choosing your major:

Follow the fun. Perhaps you look forward to attending one of your classes and even like completing the assignments. This is a clue to your choice of major.

See whether you can find lasting patterns in the subjects and extracurricular activities that you’ve enjoyed over the years. Look for a major that allows you to continue and expand on these experiences.

Also, sit down with a stack of 3 × 5 cards and brainstorm answers to the following questions:

  • What do you enjoy doing most with your unscheduled time?
  • Imagine that you’re at a party and having a fascinating conversation. What is this conversation about?
  • What kind of problems do you enjoy solving—those that involve people? Products? Ideas?
  • What interests are revealed by your choices of reading material, television shows, and other entertainment?
  • What would an ideal day look like for you? Describe where you would live, who would be with you, and what you would do throughout the day. Do any of these visions suggest a possible major?

Questions like these can uncover a “fun factor” that energizes you to finish the work of completing a major.

Consider your abilities. In choosing a major, ability counts as much as interest. In addition to considering what you enjoy, think about times and places when you excelled. List the courses that you aced, the work assignments that you mastered, and the hobbies that led to rewards or recognition. Let your choice of a major reflect a discovery of your passions and potentials.

Use formal techniques for self-discovery. Explore questionnaires and inventories that are designed to correlate your interests with specific majors. Examples include the Strong Interest Inventory and the Self-Directed Search. Your academic advisor or someone in your school’s career planning office can give you more details about these and related assessments. For some fun, take several of them and meet with an advisor to interpret the results. Remember inventories can help you gain self-knowledge, and other people can offer valuable perspectives. However, what you do with all this input is entirely up to you.

Critical Thinking Skills in Action: Thinking About Your Major, Part 2

As you review the following additional suggestions of discovering options, think about what strategies you already use in your own decision-making process. Also think about what new strategies you might try in the future.

Link to long-term goals. Your choice of a major can fall into place once you determine what you want in life. Before you choose a major, back up to a bigger picture. List your core values, such as contributing to society, achieving financial security and professional recognition, enjoying good health, or making time for fun. Also write down specific goals that you want to accomplish 5 years, 10 years, or even 50 years from today.

Many students find that the prospect of getting what they want in life justifies all of the time, money, and day-to-day effort invested in going to school. Having a major gives you a powerful incentive for attending classes, taking part in discussions, reading textbooks, writing papers, and completing other assignments. When you see a clear connection between finishing school and creating the life of your dreams, the daily tasks of higher education become charged with meaning.

Ask other people. Key people in your life might have valuable suggestions about your choice of major. Ask for their ideas, and listen with an open mind. At the same time, distance yourself from any pressure to choose a major or career that fails to interest you. If you make a choice solely on the basis of the expectations of other people, you could end up with a major or even a career you don’t enjoy.

Gather information. Check your school’s catalog or website for a list of available majors. Here is a gold mine of information. Take a quick glance, and highlight all the majors that interest you. Then talk to students who have declared these majors. Also read the descriptions of courses required for these majors. Do you get excited about the chance to enroll in them? Pay attention to your gut feelings.

Also chat with instructors who teach courses in a specific major. Ask for copies of their class syllabi. Go to the bookstore and browse the required texts. Based on all of this information, write a list of prospective majors. Discuss them with an academic advisor and someone at your school’s career-planning center.

Invent a major. When choosing a major, you might not need to limit yourself to those listed in your school catalog. Many schools now have flexible programs that allow for independent study. Through such programs, you might be able to combine two existing majors or invent an entirely new one of your own.

Consider a complementary minor. You can add flexibility to your academic program by choosing a minor to complement or contrast with your major. The student who wants to be a minister could opt for a minor in English; all of those courses in composition can help in writing sermons. Or the student with a major in psychology might choose a minor in business administration, with the idea of managing a counseling service some day. An effective choice of a minor can expand your skills and career options.

Think critically about the link between your major and your career. Your career goals might have a significant impact on your choice of major.

You could pursue a rewarding career by choosing among several different majors. Even students planning to apply for law school or medical school have flexibility in their choice of majors. In addition, after graduation, many people tend to be employed in jobs that have little relationship to their major. And you might choose a career in the future that is unrelated to any currently available major.

Critical Thinking Skills in Action: Thinking About Your Major, Part 3

Once you have discovered all of your options, you can move on to the next step in the process— making a trial choice.

Make a Trial Choice

Pretend that you have to choose a major today. Based on the options for a major that you’ve already discovered, write down the first three ideas that come to mind. Review the list for a few minutes, and then choose one.

Evaluate Your Trial Choice

When you’ve made a trial choice of major, take on the role of a scientist. Treat your choice as a hypothesis, and then design a series of experiments to evaluate and test it. For example:

  • Schedule office meetings with instructors who teach courses in the major. Ask about required course work and career options in the field.
  • Discuss your trial choice with an academic advisor or career counselor.
  • Enroll in a course related to your possible major. Remember that introductory courses might not give you a realistic picture of the workload involved in advanced courses. Also, you might not be able to register for certain courses until you’ve actually declared a related major.
  • Find a volunteer experience, internship, part-time job, or service-learning experience related to the major.
  • Interview students who have declared the same major. Ask them in detail about their experiences and suggestions for success.
  • Interview people who work in a field related to the major and “shadow” them—that is, spend time with those people during their workday.
  • Think about whether you can complete your major given the amount of time and money that you plan to invest in higher education.
  • Consider whether declaring this major would require a transfer to another program or even another school.

If your “experiments” confirm your choice of major, celebrate that fact. If they result in choosing a new major, celebrate that outcome as well.

Also remember that higher education represents a safe place to test your choice of major—and to change your mind. As you sort through your options, help is always available from administrators, instructors, advisors, and peers.

Choose Again

Keep your choice of a major in perspective. There is probably no single “correct” choice. Your unique collection of skills is likely to provide the basis for majoring in several fields.

Odds are that you’ll change your major at least once—and that you’ll change careers several times during your life. One benefit of higher education is mobility. You gain the general skills and knowledge that can help you move into a new major or career field at any time.

Viewing a major as a one-time choice that determines your entire future can raise your stress levels. Instead, look at choosing a major as the start of a continuing path that involves discovery, choice, and passionate action.

As you review this example of how you can use critical thinking to make a decision about choosing your major, think about how you will use your critical thinking to make decisions and solve problems in the future.

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Critical Thinking

Developing the right mindset and skills.

By the Mind Tools Content Team

We make hundreds of decisions every day and, whether we realize it or not, we're all critical thinkers.

We use critical thinking each time we weigh up our options, prioritize our responsibilities, or think about the likely effects of our actions. It's a crucial skill that helps us to cut out misinformation and make wise decisions. The trouble is, we're not always very good at it!

In this article, we'll explore the key skills that you need to develop your critical thinking skills, and how to adopt a critical thinking mindset, so that you can make well-informed decisions.

What Is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking is the discipline of rigorously and skillfully using information, experience, observation, and reasoning to guide your decisions, actions, and beliefs. You'll need to actively question every step of your thinking process to do it well.

Collecting, analyzing and evaluating information is an important skill in life, and a highly valued asset in the workplace. People who score highly in critical thinking assessments are also rated by their managers as having good problem-solving skills, creativity, strong decision-making skills, and good overall performance. [1]

Key Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinkers possess a set of key characteristics which help them to question information and their own thinking. Focus on the following areas to develop your critical thinking skills:

Being willing and able to explore alternative approaches and experimental ideas is crucial. Can you think through "what if" scenarios, create plausible options, and test out your theories? If not, you'll tend to write off ideas and options too soon, so you may miss the best answer to your situation.

To nurture your curiosity, stay up to date with facts and trends. You'll overlook important information if you allow yourself to become "blinkered," so always be open to new information.

But don't stop there! Look for opposing views or evidence to challenge your information, and seek clarification when things are unclear. This will help you to reassess your beliefs and make a well-informed decision later. Read our article, Opening Closed Minds , for more ways to stay receptive.

Logical Thinking

You must be skilled at reasoning and extending logic to come up with plausible options or outcomes.

It's also important to emphasize logic over emotion. Emotion can be motivating but it can also lead you to take hasty and unwise action, so control your emotions and be cautious in your judgments. Know when a conclusion is "fact" and when it is not. "Could-be-true" conclusions are based on assumptions and must be tested further. Read our article, Logical Fallacies , for help with this.

Use creative problem solving to balance cold logic. By thinking outside of the box you can identify new possible outcomes by using pieces of information that you already have.

Self-Awareness

Many of the decisions we make in life are subtly informed by our values and beliefs. These influences are called cognitive biases and it can be difficult to identify them in ourselves because they're often subconscious.

Practicing self-awareness will allow you to reflect on the beliefs you have and the choices you make. You'll then be better equipped to challenge your own thinking and make improved, unbiased decisions.

One particularly useful tool for critical thinking is the Ladder of Inference . It allows you to test and validate your thinking process, rather than jumping to poorly supported conclusions.

Developing a Critical Thinking Mindset

Combine the above skills with the right mindset so that you can make better decisions and adopt more effective courses of action. You can develop your critical thinking mindset by following this process:

Gather Information

First, collect data, opinions and facts on the issue that you need to solve. Draw on what you already know, and turn to new sources of information to help inform your understanding. Consider what gaps there are in your knowledge and seek to fill them. And look for information that challenges your assumptions and beliefs.

Be sure to verify the authority and authenticity of your sources. Not everything you read is true! Use this checklist to ensure that your information is valid:

  • Are your information sources trustworthy ? (For example, well-respected authors, trusted colleagues or peers, recognized industry publications, websites, blogs, etc.)
  • Is the information you have gathered up to date ?
  • Has the information received any direct criticism ?
  • Does the information have any errors or inaccuracies ?
  • Is there any evidence to support or corroborate the information you have gathered?
  • Is the information you have gathered subjective or biased in any way? (For example, is it based on opinion, rather than fact? Is any of the information you have gathered designed to promote a particular service or organization?)

If any information appears to be irrelevant or invalid, don't include it in your decision making. But don't omit information just because you disagree with it, or your final decision will be flawed and bias.

Now observe the information you have gathered, and interpret it. What are the key findings and main takeaways? What does the evidence point to? Start to build one or two possible arguments based on what you have found.

You'll need to look for the details within the mass of information, so use your powers of observation to identify any patterns or similarities. You can then analyze and extend these trends to make sensible predictions about the future.

To help you to sift through the multiple ideas and theories, it can be useful to group and order items according to their characteristics. From here, you can compare and contrast the different items. And once you've determined how similar or different things are from one another, Paired Comparison Analysis can help you to analyze them.

The final step involves challenging the information and rationalizing its arguments.

Apply the laws of reason (induction, deduction, analogy) to judge an argument and determine its merits. To do this, it's essential that you can determine the significance and validity of an argument to put it in the correct perspective. Take a look at our article, Rational Thinking , for more information about how to do this.

Once you have considered all of the arguments and options rationally, you can finally make an informed decision.

Afterward, take time to reflect on what you have learned and what you found challenging. Step back from the detail of your decision or problem, and look at the bigger picture. Record what you've learned from your observations and experience.

Critical thinking involves rigorously and skilfully using information, experience, observation, and reasoning to guide your decisions, actions and beliefs. It's a useful skill in the workplace and in life.

You'll need to be curious and creative to explore alternative possibilities, but rational to apply logic, and self-aware to identify when your beliefs could affect your decisions or actions.

You can demonstrate a high level of critical thinking by validating your information, analyzing its meaning, and finally evaluating the argument.

Critical Thinking Infographic

See Critical Thinking represented in our infographic: An Elementary Guide to Critical Thinking .

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Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills

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Critical thinking is a type of systematic thinking that is used to solve problems using logic. The first step is to gather the information needed to help you solve your problem. You start by analyzing and evaluating sources for authority to give you the best shot at finding something truthful and unbiased. Watch Out For information overload. Access to information is easier than ever these days, and it is easy to get overwhelmed by it all. As you conduct your research, keep your information organized by filtering, synthesizing, and distilling it. And keep your effort timeboxed. Start broad enough to obtain a wide berth, like a fisherman casting a large net into an ocean. This helps find multiple points of view. But don’t spend more time than necessary. Practicing collecting what is sufficient to answer your questions.

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50 Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking Examples

Critical thinking and problem solving are essential skills for success in the 21st century. Critical thinking is the ability to analyze information, evaluate evidence, and draw logical conclusions. Problem solving is the ability to apply critical thinking to find effective solutions to various challenges. Both skills require creativity, curiosity, and persistence. Developing critical thinking and problem solving skills can help students improve their academic performance, enhance their career prospects, and become more informed and engaged citizens.

materi critical thinking and problem solving

Sanju Pradeepa

Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking Examples

In today’s complex and fast-paced world, the ability to think critically and solve problems effectively has become a vital skill for success in all areas of life. Whether it’s navigating professional challenges, making sound decisions, or finding innovative solutions, critical thinking and problem-solving are key to overcoming obstacles and achieving desired outcomes. In this blog post, we will explore problem-solving and critical thinking examples.

Table of Contents

Developing the skills needed for critical thinking and problem solving.

Developing the skills needed for critical thinking and problem solving

It is not enough to simply recognize an issue; we must use the right tools and techniques to address it. To do this, we must learn how to define and identify the problem or task at hand, gather relevant information from reliable sources, analyze and compare data to draw conclusions, make logical connections between different ideas, generate a solution or action plan, and make a recommendation.

The first step in developing these skills is understanding what the problem or task is that needs to be addressed. This requires careful consideration of all available information in order to form an accurate picture of what needs to be done. Once the issue has been identified, gathering reliable sources of data can help further your understanding of it. Sources could include interviews with customers or stakeholders, surveys, industry reports, and analysis of customer feedback.

After collecting relevant information from reliable sources, it’s important to analyze and compare the data in order to draw meaningful conclusions about the situation at hand. This helps us better understand our options for addressing an issue by providing context for decision-making. Once you have analyzed the data you collected, making logical connections between different ideas can help you form a more complete picture of the situation and inform your potential solutions.

Once you have analyzed your options for addressing an issue based on all available data points, it’s time to generate a solution or action plan that takes into account considerations such as cost-effectiveness and feasibility. It’s also important to consider the risk factors associated with any proposed solutions in order to ensure that they are responsible before moving forward with implementation. Finally, once all the analysis has been completed, it is time to make a recommendation based on your findings, which should take into account any objectives set out by stakeholders at the beginning of this process as well as any other pertinent factors discovered throughout the analysis stage.

By following these steps carefully when faced with complex issues, one can effectively use critical thinking and problem-solving skills in order to achieve desired outcomes more efficiently than would otherwise be possible without them, while also taking responsibility for decisions made along the way.

what does critical thinking involve

What Does Critical Thinking Involve: 5 Essential Skill

Problem-solving and critical thinking examples.

Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking Examples

Problem-solving and critical thinking are key skills that are highly valued in any professional setting. These skills enable individuals to analyze complex situations, make informed decisions, and find innovative solutions. Here, we present 25 examples of problem-solving and critical thinking. problem-solving scenarios to help you cultivate and enhance these skills.

Ethical dilemma: A company faces a situation where a client asks for a product that does not meet quality standards. The team must decide how to address the client’s request without compromising the company’s credibility or values.

Brainstorming session: A team needs to come up with new ideas for a marketing campaign targeting a specific demographic. Through an organized brainstorming session, they explore various approaches and analyze their potential impact.

Troubleshooting technical issues : An IT professional receives a ticket indicating a network outage. They analyze the issue, assess potential causes (hardware, software, or connectivity), and solve the problem efficiently.

Negotiation : During contract negotiations, representatives from two companies must find common ground to strike a mutually beneficial agreement, considering the needs and limitations of both parties.

Project management: A project manager identifies potential risks and develops contingency plans to address unforeseen obstacles, ensuring the project stays on track.

Decision-making under pressure: In a high-stakes situation, a medical professional must make a critical decision regarding a patient’s treatment, weighing all available information and considering potential risks.

Conflict resolution: A team encounters conflicts due to differing opinions or approaches. The team leader facilitates a discussion to reach a consensus while considering everyone’s perspectives.

Data analysis: A data scientist is presented with a large dataset and is tasked with extracting valuable insights. They apply analytical techniques to identify trends, correlations, and patterns that can inform decision-making.

Customer service: A customer service representative encounters a challenging customer complaint and must employ active listening and problem-solving skills to address the issue and provide a satisfactory resolution.

Market research : A business seeks to expand into a new market. They conduct thorough market research, analyzing consumer behavior, competitor strategies, and economic factors to make informed market-entry decisions.

Creative problem-solvin g: An engineer faces a design challenge and must think outside the box to come up with a unique and innovative solution that meets project requirements.

Change management: During a company-wide transition, managers must effectively communicate the change, address employees’ concerns, and facilitate a smooth transition process.

Crisis management: When a company faces a public relations crisis, effective critical thinking is necessary to analyze the situation, develop a response strategy, and minimize potential damage to the company’s reputation.

Cost optimization : A financial analyst identifies areas where expenses can be reduced while maintaining operational efficiency, presenting recommendations for cost savings.

Time management : An employee has multiple deadlines to meet. They assess the priority of each task, develop a plan, and allocate time accordingly to achieve optimal productivity.

Quality control: A production manager detects an increase in product defects and investigates the root causes, implementing corrective actions to enhance product quality.

Strategic planning: An executive team engages in strategic planning to define long-term goals, assess market trends, and identify growth opportunities.

Cross-functional collaboration: Multiple teams with different areas of expertise must collaborate to develop a comprehensive solution, combining their knowledge and skills.

Training and development : A manager identifies skill gaps in their team and designs training programs to enhance critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making abilities.

Risk assessment : A risk management professional evaluates potential risks associated with a new business venture, weighing their potential impact and developing strategies to mitigate them.

Continuous improvement: An operations manager analyzes existing processes, identifies inefficiencies, and introduces improvements to enhance productivity and customer satisfaction.

Customer needs analysis: A product development team conducts extensive research to understand customer needs and preferences, ensuring that the resulting product meets those requirements.

Crisis decision-making: A team dealing with a crisis must think quickly, assess the situation, and make timely decisions with limited information.

Marketing campaign analysis : A marketing team evaluates the success of a recent campaign, analyzing key performance indicators to understand its impact on sales and customer engagement.

Constructive feedback: A supervisor provides feedback to an employee, highlighting areas for improvement and offering constructive suggestions for growth.

Conflict resolution in a team project: Team members engaged in a project have conflicting ideas on the approach. They must engage in open dialogue, actively listen to each other’s perspectives, and reach a compromise that aligns with the project’s goals.

Crisis response in a natural disaster: Emergency responders must think critically and swiftly in responding to a natural disaster, coordinating rescue efforts, allocating resources effectively, and prioritizing the needs of affected individuals.

Product innovation : A product development team conducts market research, studies consumer trends, and uses critical thinking to create innovative products that address unmet customer needs.

Supply chain optimization: A logistics manager analyzes the supply chain to identify areas for efficiency improvement, such as reducing transportation costs, improving inventory management, or streamlining order fulfillment processes.

Business strategy formulation: A business executive assesses market dynamics, the competitive landscape, and internal capabilities to develop a robust business strategy that ensures sustainable growth and competitiveness.

Crisis communication: In the face of a public relations crisis, an organization’s spokesperson must think critically to develop and deliver a transparent, authentic, and effective communication strategy to rebuild trust and manage reputation.

Social problem-solving: A group of volunteers addresses a specific social issue, such as poverty or homelessness, by critically examining its root causes, collaborating with stakeholders, and implementing sustainable solutions for the affected population.

Problem-Solving Mindset

Problem-Solving Mindset: How to Achieve It (15 Ways)

Risk assessment in investment decision-making: An investment analyst evaluates various investment opportunities, conducting risk assessments based on market trends, financial indicators, and potential regulatory changes to make informed investment recommendations.

Environmental sustainability: An environmental scientist analyzes the impact of industrial processes on the environment, develops strategies to mitigate risks, and promotes sustainable practices within organizations and communities.

Adaptation to technological advancements : In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, professionals need critical thinking skills to adapt to new tools, software, and systems, ensuring they can effectively leverage these advancements to enhance productivity and efficiency.

Productivity improvement: An operations manager leverages critical thinking to identify productivity bottlenecks within a workflow and implement process improvements to optimize resource utilization, minimize waste, and increase overall efficiency.

Cost-benefit analysis: An organization considering a major investment or expansion opportunity conducts a thorough cost-benefit analysis, weighing potential costs against expected benefits to make an informed decision.

Human resources management : HR professionals utilize critical thinking to assess job applicants, identify skill gaps within the organization, and design training and development programs to enhance the workforce’s capabilities.

Root cause analysis: In response to a recurring problem or inefficiency, professionals apply critical thinking to identify the root cause of the issue, develop remedial actions, and prevent future occurrences.

Leadership development: Aspiring leaders undergo critical thinking exercises to enhance their decision-making abilities, develop strategic thinking skills, and foster a culture of innovation within their teams.

Brand positioning : Marketers conduct comprehensive market research and consumer behavior analysis to strategically position a brand, differentiating it from competitors and appealing to target audiences effectively.

Resource allocation: Non-profit organizations distribute limited resources efficiently, critically evaluating project proposals, considering social impact, and allocating resources to initiatives that align with their mission.

Innovating in a mature market: A company operating in a mature market seeks to innovate to maintain a competitive edge. They cultivate critical thinking skills to identify gaps, anticipate changing customer needs, and develop new strategies, products, or services accordingly.

Analyzing financial statements : Financial analysts critically assess financial statements, analyze key performance indicators, and derive insights to support financial decision-making, such as investment evaluations or budget planning.

Crisis intervention : Mental health professionals employ critical thinking and problem-solving to assess crises faced by individuals or communities, develop intervention plans, and provide support during challenging times.

Data privacy and cybersecurity : IT professionals critically evaluate existing cybersecurity measures, identify vulnerabilities, and develop strategies to protect sensitive data from threats, ensuring compliance with privacy regulations.

Process improvement : Professionals in manufacturing or service industries critically evaluate existing processes, identify inefficiencies, and implement improvements to optimize efficiency, quality, and customer satisfaction.

Multi-channel marketing strategy : Marketers employ critical thinking to design and execute effective marketing campaigns across various channels such as social media, web, print, and television, ensuring a cohesive brand experience for customers.

Peer review: Researchers critically analyze and review the work of their peers, providing constructive feedback and ensuring the accuracy, validity, and reliability of scientific studies.

Project coordination : A project manager must coordinate multiple teams and resources to ensure seamless collaboration, identify potential bottlenecks, and find solutions to keep the project on schedule.  

These examples highlight the various contexts in which problem-solving and critical-thinking skills are necessary for success. By understanding and practicing these skills, individuals can enhance their ability to navigate challenges and make sound decisions in both personal and professional endeavors.

Conclusion:

Critical thinking and problem-solving are indispensable skills that empower individuals to overcome challenges, make sound decisions, and find innovative solutions. By honing these skills, one can navigate through the complexities of modern life and achieve success in both personal and professional endeavors. Embrace the power of critical thinking and problem-solving, and unlock the door to endless possibilities and growth.

  • Problem solving From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • Critical thinking From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • The Importance of Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills for Students (5 Minutes)

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Critical thinking definition

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Critical thinking, as described by Oxford Languages, is the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement.

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Critical Thinking: A Model of Intelligence for Solving Real-World Problems

Diane f. halpern.

1 Department of Psychology, Claremont McKenna College, Emerita, Altadena, CA 91001, USA

Dana S. Dunn

2 Department of Psychology, Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA 18018, USA; ude.naivarom@nnud

Most theories of intelligence do not directly address the question of whether people with high intelligence can successfully solve real world problems. A high IQ is correlated with many important outcomes (e.g., academic prominence, reduced crime), but it does not protect against cognitive biases, partisan thinking, reactance, or confirmation bias, among others. There are several newer theories that directly address the question about solving real-world problems. Prominent among them is Sternberg’s adaptive intelligence with “adaptation to the environment” as the central premise, a construct that does not exist on standardized IQ tests. Similarly, some scholars argue that standardized tests of intelligence are not measures of rational thought—the sort of skill/ability that would be needed to address complex real-world problems. Other investigators advocate for critical thinking as a model of intelligence specifically designed for addressing real-world problems. Yes, intelligence (i.e., critical thinking) can be enhanced and used for solving a real-world problem such as COVID-19, which we use as an example of contemporary problems that need a new approach.

1. Introduction

The editors of this Special Issue asked authors to respond to a deceptively simple statement: “How Intelligence Can Be a Solution to Consequential World Problems.” This statement holds many complexities, including how intelligence is defined and which theories are designed to address real-world problems.

2. The Problem with Using Standardized IQ Measures for Real-World Problems

For the most part, we identify high intelligence as having a high score on a standardized test of intelligence. Like any test score, IQ can only reflect what is on the given test. Most contemporary standardized measures of intelligence include vocabulary, working memory, spatial skills, analogies, processing speed, and puzzle-like elements (e.g., Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Fourth Edition; see ( Drozdick et al. 2012 )). Measures of IQ correlate with many important outcomes, including academic performance ( Kretzschmar et al. 2016 ), job-related skills ( Hunter and Schmidt 1996 ), reduced likelihood of criminal behavior ( Burhan et al. 2014 ), and for those with exceptionally high IQs, obtaining a doctorate and publishing scholarly articles ( McCabe et al. 2020 ). Gottfredson ( 1997, p. 81 ) summarized these effects when she said the “predictive validity of g is ubiquitous.” More recent research using longitudinal data, found that general mental abilities and specific abilities are good predictors of several work variables including job prestige, and income ( Lang and Kell 2020 ). Although assessments of IQ are useful in many contexts, having a high IQ does not protect against falling for common cognitive fallacies (e.g., blind spot bias, reactance, anecdotal reasoning), relying on biased and blatantly one-sided information sources, failing to consider information that does not conform to one’s preferred view of reality (confirmation bias), resisting pressure to think and act in a certain way, among others. This point was clearly articulated by Stanovich ( 2009, p. 3 ) when he stated that,” IQ tests measure only a small set of the thinking abilities that people need.”

3. Which Theories of Intelligence Are Relevant to the Question?

Most theories of intelligence do not directly address the question of whether people with high intelligence can successfully solve real world problems. For example, Grossmann et al. ( 2013 ) cite many studies in which IQ scores have not predicted well-being, including life satisfaction and longevity. Using a stratified random sample of Americans, these investigators found that wise reasoning is associated with life satisfaction, and that “there was no association between intelligence and well-being” (p. 944). (critical thinking [CT] is often referred to as “wise reasoning” or “rational thinking,”). Similar results were reported by Wirthwein and Rost ( 2011 ) who compared life satisfaction in several domains for gifted adults and adults of average intelligence. There were no differences in any of the measures of subjective well-being, except for leisure, which was significantly lower for the gifted adults. Additional research in a series of experiments by Stanovich and West ( 2008 ) found that participants with high cognitive ability were as likely as others to endorse positions that are consistent with their biases, and they were equally likely to prefer one-sided arguments over those that provided a balanced argument. There are several newer theories that directly address the question about solving real-world problems. Prominent among them is Sternberg’s adaptive intelligence with “adaptation to the environment” as the central premise, a construct that does not exist on standardized IQ tests (e.g., Sternberg 2019 ). Similarly, Stanovich and West ( 2014 ) argue that standardized tests of intelligence are not measures of rational thought—the sort of skill/ability that would be needed to address complex real-world problems. Halpern and Butler ( 2020 ) advocate for CT as a useful model of intelligence for addressing real-world problems because it was designed for this purpose. Although there is much overlap among these more recent theories, often using different terms for similar concepts, we use Halpern and Butler’s conceptualization to make our point: Yes, intelligence (i.e., CT) can be enhanced and used for solving a real-world problem like COVID-19.

4. Critical Thinking as an Applied Model for Intelligence

One definition of intelligence that directly addresses the question about intelligence and real-world problem solving comes from Nickerson ( 2020, p. 205 ): “the ability to learn, to reason well, to solve novel problems, and to deal effectively with novel problems—often unpredictable—that confront one in daily life.” Using this definition, the question of whether intelligent thinking can solve a world problem like the novel coronavirus is a resounding “yes” because solutions to real-world novel problems are part of his definition. This is a popular idea in the general public. For example, over 1000 business managers and hiring executives said that they want employees who can think critically based on the belief that CT skills will help them solve work-related problems ( Hart Research Associates 2018 ).

We define CT as the use of those cognitive skills or strategies that increase the probability of a desirable outcome. It is used to describe thinking that is purposeful, reasoned, and goal directed--the kind of thinking involved in solving problems, formulating inferences, calculating likelihoods, and making decisions, when the thinker is using skills that are thoughtful and effective for the particular context and type of thinking task. International surveys conducted by the OECD ( 2019, p. 16 ) established “key information-processing competencies” that are “highly transferable, in that they are relevant to many social contexts and work situations; and ‘learnable’ and therefore subject to the influence of policy.” One of these skills is problem solving, which is one subset of CT skills.

The CT model of intelligence is comprised of two components: (1) understanding information at a deep, meaningful level and (2) appropriate use of CT skills. The underlying idea is that CT skills can be identified, taught, and learned, and when they are recognized and applied in novel settings, the individual is demonstrating intelligent thought. CT skills include judging the credibility of an information source, making cost–benefit calculations, recognizing regression to the mean, understanding the limits of extrapolation, muting reactance responses, using analogical reasoning, rating the strength of reasons that support and fail to support a conclusion, and recognizing hindsight bias or confirmation bias, among others. Critical thinkers use these skills appropriately, without prompting, and usually with conscious intent in a variety of settings.

One of the key concepts in this model is that CT skills transfer in appropriate situations. Thus, assessments using situational judgments are needed to assess whether particular skills have transferred to a novel situation where it is appropriate. In an assessment created by the first author ( Halpern 2018 ), short paragraphs provide information about 20 different everyday scenarios (e.g., A speaker at the meeting of your local school board reported that when drug use rises, grades decline; so schools need to enforce a “war on drugs” to improve student grades); participants provide two response formats for every scenario: (a) constructed responses where they respond with short written responses, followed by (b) forced choice responses (e.g., multiple choice, rating or ranking of alternatives) for the same situations.

There is a large and growing empirical literature to support the assertion that CT skills can be learned and will transfer (when taught for transfer). See for example, Holmes et al. ( 2015 ), who wrote in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , that there was “significant and sustained improvement in students’ critical thinking behavior” (p. 11,199) for students who received CT instruction. Abrami et al. ( 2015, para. 1 ) concluded from a meta-analysis that “there are effective strategies for teaching CT skills, both generic and content specific, and CT dispositions, at all educational levels and across all disciplinary areas.” Abrami et al. ( 2008, para. 1 ), included 341 effect sizes in a meta-analysis. They wrote: “findings make it clear that improvement in students’ CT skills and dispositions cannot be a matter of implicit expectation.” A strong test of whether CT skills can be used for real-word problems comes from research by Butler et al. ( 2017 ). Community adults and college students (N = 244) completed several scales including an assessment of CT, an intelligence test, and an inventory of real-life events. Both CT scores and intelligence scores predicted individual outcomes on the inventory of real-life events, but CT was a stronger predictor.

Heijltjes et al. ( 2015, p. 487 ) randomly assigned participants to either a CT instruction group or one of six other control conditions. They found that “only participants assigned to CT instruction improved their reasoning skills.” Similarly, when Halpern et al. ( 2012 ) used random assignment of participants to either a learning group where they were taught scientific reasoning skills using a game format or a control condition (which also used computerized learning and was similar in length), participants in the scientific skills learning group showed higher proportional learning gains than students who did not play the game. As the body of additional supportive research is too large to report here, interested readers can find additional lists of CT skills and support for the assertion that these skills can be learned and will transfer in Halpern and Dunn ( Forthcoming ). There is a clear need for more high-quality research on the application and transfer of CT and its relationship to IQ.

5. Pandemics: COVID-19 as a Consequential Real-World Problem

A pandemic occurs when a disease runs rampant over an entire country or even the world. Pandemics have occurred throughout history: At the time of writing this article, COVID-19 is a world-wide pandemic whose actual death rate is unknown but estimated with projections of several million over the course of 2021 and beyond ( Mega 2020 ). Although vaccines are available, it will take some time to inoculate most or much of the world’s population. Since March 2020, national and international health agencies have created a list of actions that can slow and hopefully stop the spread of COVID (e.g., wearing face masks, practicing social distancing, avoiding group gatherings), yet many people in the United States and other countries have resisted their advice.

Could instruction in CT encourage more people to accept and comply with simple life-saving measures? There are many possible reasons to believe that by increasing citizens’ CT abilities, this problematic trend can be reversed for, at least, some unknown percentage of the population. We recognize the long history of social and cognitive research showing that changing attitudes and behaviors is difficult, and it would be unrealistic to expect that individuals with extreme beliefs supported by their social group and consistent with their political ideologies are likely to change. For example, an Iranian cleric and an orthodox rabbi both claimed (separately) that the COVID-19 vaccine can make people gay ( Marr 2021 ). These unfounded opinions are based on deeply held prejudicial beliefs that we expect to be resistant to CT. We are targeting those individuals who beliefs are less extreme and may be based on reasonable reservations, such as concern about the hasty development of the vaccine and the lack of long-term data on its effects. There should be some unknown proportion of individuals who can change their COVID-19-related beliefs and actions with appropriate instruction in CT. CT can be a (partial) antidote for the chaos of the modern world with armies of bots creating content on social media, political and other forces deliberately attempting to confuse issues, and almost all media labeled “fake news” by social influencers (i.e., people with followers that sometimes run to millions on various social media). Here, are some CT skills that could be helpful in getting more people to think more critically about pandemic-related issues.

Reasoning by Analogy and Judging the Credibility of the Source of Information

Early communications about the ability of masks to prevent the spread of COVID from national health agencies were not consistent. In many regions of the world, the benefits of wearing masks incited prolonged and acrimonious debates ( Tang 2020 ). However, after the initial confusion, virtually all of the global and national health organizations (e.g., WHO, National Health Service in the U. K., U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) endorse masks as a way to slow the spread of COVID ( Cheng et al. 2020 ; Chu et al. 2020 ). However, as we know, some people do not trust governmental agencies and often cite the conflicting information that was originally given as a reason for not wearing a mask. There are varied reasons for refusing to wear a mask, but the one most often cited is that it is against civil liberties ( Smith 2020 ). Reasoning by analogy is an appropriate CT skill for evaluating this belief (and a key skill in legal thinking). It might be useful to cite some of the many laws that already regulate our behavior such as, requiring health inspections for restaurants, setting speed limits, mandating seat belts when riding in a car, and establishing the age at which someone can consume alcohol. Individuals would be asked to consider how the mandate to wear a mask compares to these and other regulatory laws.

Another reason why some people resist the measures suggested by virtually every health agency concerns questions about whom to believe. Could training in CT change the beliefs and actions of even a small percentage of those opposed to wearing masks? Such training would include considering the following questions with practice across a wide domain of knowledge: (a) Does the source have sufficient expertise? (b) Is the expertise recent and relevant? (c) Is there a potential for gain by the information source, such as financial gain? (d) What would the ideal information source be and how close is the current source to the ideal? (e) Does the information source offer evidence that what they are recommending is likely to be correct? (f) Have you traced URLs to determine if the information in front of you really came from the alleged source?, etc. Of course, not everyone will respond in the same way to each question, so there is little likelihood that we would all think alike, but these questions provide a framework for evaluating credibility. Donovan et al. ( 2015 ) were successful using a similar approach to improve dynamic decision-making by asking participants to reflect on questions that relate to the decision. Imagine the effect of rigorous large-scale education in CT from elementary through secondary schools, as well as at the university-level. As stated above, empirical evidence has shown that people can become better thinkers with appropriate instruction in CT. With training, could we encourage some portion of the population to become more astute at judging the credibility of a source of information? It is an experiment worth trying.

6. Making Cost—Benefit Assessments for Actions That Would Slow the Spread of COVID-19

Historical records show that refusal to wear a mask during a pandemic is not a new reaction. The epidemic of 1918 also included mandates to wear masks, which drew public backlash. Then, as now, many people refused, even when they were told that it was a symbol of “wartime patriotism” because the 1918 pandemic occurred during World War I ( Lovelace 2020 ). CT instruction would include instruction in why and how to compute cost–benefit analyses. Estimates of “lives saved” by wearing a mask can be made meaningful with graphical displays that allow more people to understand large numbers. Gigerenzer ( 2020 ) found that people can understand risk ratios in medicine when the numbers are presented as frequencies instead of probabilities. If this information were used when presenting the likelihood of illness and death from COVID-19, could we increase the numbers of people who understand the severity of this disease? Small scale studies by Gigerenzer have shown that it is possible.

Analyzing Arguments to Determine Degree of Support for a Conclusion

The process of analyzing arguments requires that individuals rate the strength of support for and against a conclusion. By engaging in this practice, they must consider evidence and reasoning that may run counter to a preferred outcome. Kozyreva et al. ( 2020 ) call the deliberate failure to consider both supporting and conflicting data “deliberate ignorance”—avoiding or failing to consider information that could be useful in decision-making because it may collide with an existing belief. When applied to COVID-19, people would have to decide if the evidence for and against wearing a face mask is a reasonable way to stop the spread of this disease, and if they conclude that it is not, what are the costs and benefits of not wearing masks at a time when governmental health organizations are making them mandatory in public spaces? Again, we wonder if rigorous and systematic instruction in argument analysis would result in more positive attitudes and behaviors that relate to wearing a mask or other real-world problems. We believe that it is an experiment worth doing.

7. Conclusions

We believe that teaching CT is a worthwhile approach for educating the general public in order to improve reasoning and motivate actions to address, avert, or ameliorate real-world problems like the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence suggests that CT can guide intelligent responses to societal and global problems. We are NOT claiming that CT skills will be a universal solution for the many real-world problems that we confront in contemporary society, or that everyone will substitute CT for other decision-making practices, but we do believe that systematic education in CT can help many people become better thinkers, and we believe that this is an important step toward creating a society that values and practices routine CT. The challenges are great, but the tools to tackle them are available, if we are willing to use them.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, D.F.H. and D.S.D.; resources, D.F.H.; data curation, writing—original draft preparation, D.F.H.; writing—review and editing, D.F.H. and D.S.D. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

This research received no external funding.

Institutional Review Board Statement

No IRB Review.

Informed Consent Statement

No Informed Consent.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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Analysis of students' critical thinking skills in solving algebraic operations HOTS problems reviewed from logical-mathematical intelligence of junior high school

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Mia Nurhidayati , Nining Setyaningsih; Analysis of students' critical thinking skills in solving algebraic operations HOTS problems reviewed from logical-mathematical intelligence of junior high school. AIP Conf. Proc. 17 January 2024; 2926 (1): 020029. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0183697

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Critical thinking skills are required to consider and solve mathematical problems to face the future. Solving mathematical problems can be done using logic so that students can analyze existing problems. Logical-mathematical intelligence is one of the logics that can improve critical thinking skills. Therefore, this research aims to: 1) describe the critical thinking skills of junior high school class VII in solving HOTS problems in algebraic operations who have high logical-mathematical intelligence; 2) describe the critical thinking skills of junior high school class VII in solving HOTS problems in algebraic operations who have moderate logical-mathematical intelligence; 3) describe the critical thinking skills of junior high school class VII in solving HOTS problems in algebraic operations who have low logical-mathematical intelligence. This study uses a case study research design and involves qualitative descriptive research. This study involved 29 students taking a logical-mathematical intelligence test. Then three students were selected based on the logical-mathematical intelligence category to take the skills to test critical thinking and interviews. The results of this study are: 1) the critical thinking skills of junior high school class VII students who have high logical-mathematical intelligence in solving HOTS problems in algebraic material meet four indicators, namely interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference; 2) critical thinking skills of junior high school class VII students who have logical-mathematical intelligence are solving HOTS questions on the material Algebra meets two indicators, namely interpretation and analysis; and 3) the critical thinking skills of junior high school class VII students who have low logical-mathematical intelligence in solving HOTS questions in algebraic material meets one indicator, namely interpretation.

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materi critical thinking and problem solving

Explained: Importance of critical thinking, problem-solving skills in curriculum

F uture careers are no longer about domain expertise or technical skills. Rather, critical thinking and problem-solving skills in employees are on the wish list of every big organization today. Even curriculums and pedagogies across the globe and within India are now requiring skilled workers who are able to think critically and are analytical.

The reason for this shift in perspective is very simple.

These skills provide a staunch foundation for comprehensive learning that extends beyond books or the four walls of the classroom. In a nutshell, critical thinking and problem-solving skills are a part of '21st Century Skills' that can help unlock valuable learning for life.

Over the years, the education system has been moving away from the system of rote and other conventional teaching and learning parameters.

They are aligning their curriculums to the changing scenario which is becoming more tech-driven and demands a fusion of critical skills, life skills, values, and domain expertise. There's no set formula for success.

Rather, there's a defined need for humans to be more creative, innovative, adaptive, agile, risk-taking, and have a problem-solving mindset.

In today's scenario, critical thinking and problem-solving skills have become more important because they open the human mind to multiple possibilities, solutions, and a mindset that is interdisciplinary in nature.

Therefore, many schools and educational institutions are deploying AI and immersive learning experiences via gaming, and AR-VR technologies to give a more realistic and hands-on learning experience to their students that hone these abilities and help them overcome any doubt or fear.

ADVANTAGES OF CRITICAL THINKING AND PROBLEM-SOLVING IN CURRICULUM

Ability to relate to the real world:  Instead of theoretical knowledge, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills encourage students to look at their immediate and extended environment through a spirit of questioning, curiosity, and learning. When the curriculum presents students with real-world problems, the learning is immense.

Confidence, agility & collaboration : Critical thinking and problem-solving skills boost self-belief and confidence as students examine, re-examine, and sometimes fail or succeed while attempting to do something.

They are able to understand where they may have gone wrong, attempt new approaches, ask their peers for feedback and even seek their opinion, work together as a team, and learn to face any challenge by responding to it.

Willingness to try new things: When problem-solving skills and critical thinking are encouraged by teachers, they set a robust foundation for young learners to experiment, think out of the box, and be more innovative and creative besides looking for new ways to upskill.

It's important to understand that merely introducing these skills into the curriculum is not enough. Schools and educational institutions must have upskilling workshops and conduct special training for teachers so as to ensure that they are skilled and familiarized with new teaching and learning techniques and new-age concepts that can be used in the classrooms via assignments and projects.

Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are two of the most sought-after skills. Hence, schools should emphasise the upskilling of students as a part of the academic curriculum.

The article is authored by Dr Tassos Anastasiades, Principal- IB, Genesis Global School, Noida. 

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Explained: Importance of critical thinking, problem-solving skills in curriculum

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Critical Thinking, Logic & Problem Solving: (4 Books in 1) The Definitive Guide to Make Smarter Decisions and Creatively Solve Complex Problems and Challenges Autonomously

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Critical Thinking, Logic & Problem Solving: (4 Books in 1) The Definitive Guide to Make Smarter Decisions and Creatively Solve Complex Problems and Challenges Autonomously Paperback – April 9, 2024

Purchase options and add-ons, unlock your potential: master the art of decision-making and creative problem solving.

As you probably already know, in a world overwhelmed by fake news , rapid technological shifts, and information overload, the need to master critical thinking, logic, and problem-solving has never been more urgent . These skills are your armor against confusion and your toolkit for clear, impactful decision-making.

Whether you're tackling personal dilemmas or professional obstacles , with this book you'll learn to cut through complexities with precision, challenge flawed reasoning, and merge creativity with analysis to make sound decisions.

Inside, you’ll discover a treasure trove of strategies and real-world examples that set the stage for a smarter and more decisive YOU . Here’s what you’ll gain:

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Don’t let hesitation or faulty logic undermine your potential. Become the epitome of intellect and innovation. Start your transformation into a decision-making genius and a master of problem resolution.

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  • Publication date April 9, 2024
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672: AI’s brainstorming and problem-solving potential with Stanford University’s Jeremy Utley Case Interview Preparation & Management Consulting | Strategy | Critical Thinking

Welcome to an interview with the co-author of the inspiring new Generative AI study, Jeremy Utley. This episode highlights the common mistakes and missed opportunities many corporate teams and individuals make when using AI. Too often, individuals treat AI as a mere search engine, leading to answers that fall short of actual solutions.    Jeremy Utley is an adjunct professor specializing in creativity and entrepreneurship at Stanford University, where he has taught design thinking and creativity to nearly one million students of innovation worldwide. In 2023, he was named a top ten global innovation leader by Thinkers50 for his recent book Ideaflow: The Only Business Metric That Matters.   Here are some free gifts for you: Overall Approach Used in Well-Managed Strategy Studies free download: www.firmsconsulting.com/OverallApproach   McKinsey & BCG winning resume free download: www.firmsconsulting.com/resumepdf   Enjoying this episode? Get access to sample advanced training episodes here: www.firmsconsulting.com/promo

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  1. Critical Thinking and Decision-Making

    Simply put, critical thinking is the act of deliberately analyzing information so that you can make better judgements and decisions. It involves using things like logic, reasoning, and creativity, to draw conclusions and generally understand things better. This may sound like a pretty broad definition, and that's because critical thinking is a ...

  2. Critical Thinking: Pengertian, Manfaat, dan Contoh Penerapannya

    Critical thinking atau berpikir kritis adalah soft skill yang penting dalam membantu seseorang berorganisasi dan karyawan dalam perusahaan. ... Dengan kemampuan problem solving dapat memungkinkan seseorang untuk mengidentifikasi, ... Memperdalam materi dan wawasan mengenai cara mendorong berpikiran kritis.

  3. What Are Critical Thinking Skills and Why Are They Important?

    Problem-solving: Problem-solving is perhaps the most important skill that critical thinkers can possess. The ability to solve issues and bounce back from conflict is what helps you succeed, be a leader, and effect change. ... Critical thinking, in part, is the cognitive process of reading the situation: the words coming out of their mouth ...

  4. How to build critical thinking skills for better decision-making

    Problem-solving. Critical thinking and problem-solving are two more terms that are frequently confused. After all, when you think critically, you're often doing so with the objective of solving a problem. The best way to understand how problem-solving and critical thinking differ is to think of problem-solving as much more narrow.

  5. 5.3: Using Critical Thinking Skills- Decision Making and Problem Solving

    Using Critical Thinking Skills in Problem Solving. Think of problem solving as a process with four Ps: Define the problem, generate possibilities,. create a plan, and perform your plan.. Step 1: Define the problem. To define a problem effectively, understand what a problem is—a mismatch between what you want and what you have.

  6. Guide to Critical Thinking: Learn to Use Critical Thinking Skills

    Teaches Strategic Decision-Making. With Renowned Instructors. Teaches Being a Band. Teaches the Power of Storytelling. Teaches Drumming & Creative Collaboration. Teach Creative Collaboration and Fashion. Critical Leadership Training. Small Habits that Make a Big Impact on Your Life. Rewriting the Rules of Business and Life.

  7. Critical Thinking

    People who score highly in critical thinking assessments are also rated by their managers as having good problem-solving skills, creativity, strong decision-making skills, and good overall performance. [1] Key Critical Thinking Skills. Critical thinkers possess a set of key characteristics which help them to question information and their own ...

  8. Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving

    Critical thinking involves asking questions, defining a problem, examining evidence, analyzing assumptions and biases, avoiding emotional reasoning, avoiding oversimplification, considering other interpretations, and tolerating ambiguity. Dealing with ambiguity is also seen by Strohm & Baukus (1995) as an essential part of critical thinking ...

  9. Solving Problems with Creative and Critical Thinking

    Solving Problems with Creative and Critical Thinking. Module 1 • 3 hours to complete. This module will help you to develop skills and behaviors required to solve problems and implement solutions more efficiently in an agile manner by using a systematic five-step process that involves both creative and critical thinking.

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  11. Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills

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  12. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

    Critical Thinking and Problem Solving With Eric Zackrison and Madecraft Liked by 17,440 users. Duration: 45m Skill level: General Released: 5/4/2021. Start my 1-month free trial ...

  13. Critical Thinking versus Problem Solving

    The first step to enhancing your critical thinking and problem solving skills is to think about them, become aware of them, then you can actively practice to improve them. Critical thinking and problem-solving are two important "soft" or essential skills hiring managers are looking for. According to a Linkedin survey, 57% of business ...

  14. Critical Thinking vs. Problem-Solving: What's the Difference?

    Critical thinking. This is a mode of thinking, compared to problem-solving, which is a set of solution-oriented strategies. Since critical thinking strengthens your reasoning, it makes it easier to learn new skills, including problem-solving. Working on your critical thinking can also help you understand yourself better, including your value ...

  15. 50 Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking Examples

    These skills enable individuals to analyze complex situations, make informed decisions, and find innovative solutions. Here, we present 25 examples of problem-solving and critical thinking. problem-solving scenarios to help you cultivate and enhance these skills. Ethical dilemma: A company faces a situation where a client asks for a product ...

  16. PDF BAB II KAJIAN PUSTAKA A. KAJIAN TEORI 1. Berpikir Kritis (Critical Thinking

    (2007: 3) mengemukakan definisi critical thinking, yaitu: (1) mampu berpikir secara menyeluruh tentang masalah yang berada dalam jangkauan pengalaman setiap individu, (2) menjadi sebuah pengetahuan tentang metode investigasi dalam melakukan problem solving. Critical thinking menuntut upaya keras

  17. (PDF) Problem Based Learning to Improve Critical Thinking

    Problem Based Learning to Improve Critica l Thinking. Egi Gustomo Arifin. SD Negeri Tegalsari. [email protected]. Article History. received 3/12/2020 revised 17/12/2020 accepted 31/12/2020 ...

  18. Using Critical Thinking in Essays and other Assignments

    Critical thinking, as described by Oxford Languages, is the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement. Active and skillful approach, evaluation, assessment, synthesis, and/or evaluation of information obtained from, or made by, observation, knowledge, reflection, acumen or conversation, as a guide to belief and action, requires the critical thinking process ...

  19. Critical Thinking: A Model of Intelligence for Solving Real-World

    4. Critical Thinking as an Applied Model for Intelligence. One definition of intelligence that directly addresses the question about intelligence and real-world problem solving comes from Nickerson (2020, p. 205): "the ability to learn, to reason well, to solve novel problems, and to deal effectively with novel problems—often unpredictable—that confront one in daily life."

  20. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

    Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. Nov 20, 2014 •. 153 likes • 310,030 views. Michigan Works! Muskegon-Oceana. "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." -Albert Einstein Train your brain to look at situations and problems differently, open your mind to new ideas, and use scientific reasoning on ...

  21. (PDF) MENGAJARKAN KETERAMPILAN ABAD 21 4C (COMMUNICATION ...

    To equip students with the vital Four Cs-creative thinking, critical thinking and problem-solving, communication, and collaboration (Widodo & Wardani, 2020; Juhji et al., 2022Juhji et al ...

  22. Meningkatkan Keterampilan Berpikir Kritis Dan Kemampuan Memecahkan

    Critical thinking and problem-solving abilities need to be possessed by each person in order to be able to solve various problems and make decisions correctly. One of many tools for developing critical thinking skills is learning mathematics. The purpose of this study is to analyze whether Problem Based

  23. Analysis of students' critical thinking skills in solving algebraic

    The results of this study are: 1) the critical thinking skills of junior high school class VII students who have high logical-mathematical intelligence in solving HOTS problems in algebraic material meet four indicators, namely interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference; 2) critical thinking skills of junior high school class VII ...

  24. Critical vs Creative Problem Solving Explained

    The paths taken by critical and creative problem-solving methods diverge significantly. Critical thinking is convergent, narrowing down multiple possibilities to find the best answer. In contrast ...

  25. Explained: Importance of critical thinking, problem-solving skills in

    In a nutshell, critical thinking and problem-solving skills are a part of '21st Century Skills' that can help unlock valuable learning for life. Over the years, the education system has been ...

  26. Critical Thinking, Logic & Problem Solving: (4 Books in 1) The

    "Critical Thinking, Logic & Problem Solving" is a useful guide for honing decision-making and problem-solving skills. It combines logic, critical thinking, and creativity to train readers to tackle complex challenges. The book includes examples and strategies as well as practical insights for navigating arguments, improving emotional ...

  27. 672: AI's brainstorming and problem-solving potential with Stanford

    ‎Show Case Interview Preparation & Management Consulting | Strategy | Critical Thinking, Ep 672: AI's brainstorming and problem-solving potential with Stanford University's Jeremy Utley - Apr 24, 2024