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Critical thinking is a pivot for the thinking person; it is a natural way to interact with ideas and information. Critical thinking includes thinking based on appraisal and reflexive critical habits. It is an open mind type of thinking, which does not accept dogma, but which develops through the imposition of new information on the personal experience of life. This is the difference between critical thinking and creative thinking, while the last does not provide an assessment, and, moreover, creative thinking involves the production of new ideas, which goes beyond the experience of life, external rules and regulations very often. However, it is difficult to make a clear distinction between critical and creative thinking. It is possible to say that critical thinking – is the starting point for the development of creative thinking, moreover, both critical and creative thinking are developed in their synthesis. Thus, it is necessary to explore critical habits for critical thinking in this project.
First of all it is important to define the term of ‘critical thinking’, because it will help us to understand its essence more carefully. Despite the fact that experts in psychology and related sciences have proposed several definitions of critical thinking, all these definitions are fairly close in meaning.
Here is one of the simplest definitions, which explains the essence of the idea: critical thinking – is the use of cognitive techniques or strategies that increase the likelihood of obtaining the desired final result. This definition describes the thinking as something different in its accountability, validity and unity of purpose. Critical thinking is such mindset, to which people resort to solve problems, draw conclusions, and make probabilistic evaluation and final decision. In this case thinker uses specific skills that are reasonable and effective for a particular situation and type of problem being solved. Other definitions additionally indicate that critical thinking is characterized by the construction of logical inferences, the creation of matched logical models, and acceptance of informed decisions regarding the problem (to reject any proposition, to agree with it or to defer its consideration). All these definitions imply a mental activity, which should be directed to solve a particular cognitive task.
Halpern (2009) stated that we use our command elements of thought to adapt our thinking to the logical requirements of the type or mode of thought in critical thinking. If we are accustomed to think critically in the strong sense then we develop specific features of thinking: intellectual humility, intellectual courage, intellectual perseverance, intellectual honesty, and trust to the reason. Sophistic or weak sense of critical thinking involves the development of these traits only narrowly in accordance with the egocentric and sociocentric obligations.