Not believing in the information you checked only once is not audacity but well-developed critical thinking. Such a person can also be called a skeptic. He lives by the principle “Trust, but verify.” In addition, the more complex a fact is, the more evidence should be collected to understand whether it is worth agreeing with an opinion. Critical thinking does not mean that a person unreasonably criticizes or wants to condemn you. This is a good and reasonable approach to information, which is necessary in the modern world.
Why critical thinking is important in the modern world
Critical thinking skills allow you to stay aware of an information-saturated environment and not to be manipulated. And critical thinking is essential in negotiations and helps to argue one’s point of view. It is vital to realize: the world is not as we see it. Sometimes you shouldn’t believe even your own eyes – you can have no vision problems, but at the same time, answer differently to the question of what colors we see in the image.
We perceive the world through a specific mirror in which we are reflected. For example, we constantly make irrational decisions and do not realize them ourselves. Even though most of our memories are false – we often think we witnessed certain events and remember details that never happened. There are many examples of the use of critical thinking. Try reading critical thinking essays and papers to learn more about real examples. With the help of each essay, you will understand the importance of developing critical thinking.
Tips to improve critical thinking
Of course, there are many ways to improve your critical thinking. And it’s not difficult at all. You need to start. So, what are the strategies to develop critical thinking?
Ask questions and not believe everything that is offered to us
“Chocolate is harmful – it causes acne,” we heard yesterday. “Chocolate doesn’t affect the skin,” someone said today. “Drinking coffee is harmful. It washes calcium out of the body,” and we give up coffee. “Coffee can prevent some diseases” – we make it again for breakfast. And where are the questions that will help us determine the truth?
The question mark is compared to a fishing hook that catches fish. Everyone can have such a hook, but can everyone see it? We need questions to find a solution to the problem. We can find the truth by researching, reading different resources, and thinking. But we need to be smart enough to ask the right and relevant questions.
Look for evidence that confirms or contradicts the information received
A complex statement needs more weighty evidence. “A square has all sides equal, and its opposite sides are parallel” is a scientific fact that is easy to prove compared to the statement, “When night comes, flying saucers descend on Earth, and aliens take people.” Such a statement was made in all seriousness by leading ufologists.
They noted that more than 17,000 people disappeared without a trace in the USSR in 1988 alone and linked these disappearances to the aggression of extraterrestrial aliens. Their articles were all popular and well-known, authoritative publications. It took a lot of work to collect and analyze data that would prove or disprove the opinion of authoritative scientists! Now, in the Internet era, it is easier to do. Therefore, whenever we hear a statement, even from authoritative people, we must check this information and research every paper about this issue.
Accumulate knowledge and expand the worldview
To know where and how to search for information, to be able to evaluate it objectively, and to reject false ideas, you need to have specific knowledge and a broad perspective. The more a person knows, the easier it is for him to understand the issue and the more difficult it is to confuse him, to make him go down the wrong path. It is essential to admit your mistakes, be objective and not go about your prejudices, and accept someone else’s opinion and agree with it, even if it contradicts our own. Still, all the evidence points to its benefit.
It is a presumption of falsity. Everything heard, read, or even seen should be questioned.
This technique will be needed to remember that we see the world through reflection. Learn about cognitive distortions, and don’t let them trap you.
They are needed to side with the opponent. This method is suitable to use in teamwork, in particular in companies. To practice, form two teams with opposite points of view on a specific issue and organize a debate where you must not defend your position but prove the correctness of the opponent’s point of view.
Therefore, the development of critical thinking is an essential part of the life of a modern intelligent person. When you use your critical thinking skills, you look at a situation or problem objectively and use reasoned and careful evaluation to develop a solution. With critical thinking, life becomes more accessible.