How to think effectively: Six stages of critical thinking
Researchers identified six predictable levels of critical thinkers:
Using your mind more effectively is not automatic. Moving up on this pyramid of thinking is dependent on developing your critical thinking skills.
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These are people who don't reflect on thinking nor consider the consequences of not thinking. Their prejudices and misconceptions lead them.
They do not consistently apply standards like accuracy, relevance, precision, and logic.
People at this intellectual stage are aware of the importance of thinking and know that the lack of thinking can result in major issues.
Thinkers at this level can look to take control of their thinking across areas of their lives. They know their thinking can have blind spots, but initially take limited steps to address that.
They not only recognize their own deficiencies but have the skills to address them.
To get to this stage, it is important to gain intellectual perseverance.
The higher-level thinker has strong habits. They can analyze their thinking with insight. They can spot some of the prejudicial aspects of their thinking and of others. They possess:
This super-thinker is in control of how they process information and make decisions. They always seek to improve their thinking skills.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Employers need critical thinkers, but they cannot find them.
Focussing on knowledge only in college does not seem to help. Neither does it help to only focus on intellectual and cognitive sk...
Considering the K-12 system, we see that the emphasis on skills over content has changed the curriculum. Students increasingly focus on learning skills, but they may not learn too much history or science.
Critical thinking is not enough on its own. It needs to be used to gain insight from studying meaningful subject matter, like history or economics or physics or chemistry.
Critical thinking is a disciplined activity. It is not something we can acquire without intensive study and practice, nor can we isolate it from knowledge. Knowledge is foundational to provide the structure to do deep thinking.
Only with some background knowledge, can we apply the skills of critical thinking to problems and texts, understand the strengths and weaknesses of arguments, and offer creative solutions.
Many well-known problems of human reasoning disappear once you get a group of people together and let them talk about it.
It's a good way to see your ideas refuted or let stronger ideas win the day. Although there’s a risk of group think and conformity pressures, if you take a large and diverse enough group, you’re more likely to be exposed to the best reasoning, which will tend to win out over the majority opinion.
...doesn’t happen because you’ve studied some abstract logical form and come to valid deductions.
It happens because you know enough about how the world works to rule out certain possibilities as being unlikely or impossible.
Each of us looks at things differently, and it's largely based on our thinking patterns, education levels, inherent bias, self-identity, and real, first-hand experiences.
Human beings tend to have two kinds of conflicting mindsets:
Our Higher Mind and the Primitive Mind always have a tug-of-war like conflict. The degree of the conflict can be placed in a spectrum, which is called a Psych Spectrum.
If the Higher mind is in control, we are placed higher in the Psych Spectrum and have the Primitive Mind under check. If we are placed at a lower degree in the Psych Spectrum, then the Primitive Mind is under control.
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