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Critical Thinking

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Essay title: Critical Thinking

In the current age of technology, one is constantly being bombarded by information. How each person perceives, interprets, and responds to that deluge of stimuli determines his learning style, his “personally constructed filter” of the world (O’Connor). With each person having his own set of feelings, his own set of past experiences, and his own set of values, getting a group of diverse individuals on the same path to a common goal is one hurdle many companies face. Another hurdle is the acceptance of unfounded beliefs, ideologies, or traditions as wisdom. The usually practiced methodologies may no longer be the “best” one with the addition of new information. For some people, just defining the problem itself in the tempest of information is the main barrier to finding a solution.

One method to overcome these everyday impediments is the use of Critical Thinking. Critical thinking allows one to examine incoming information and evaluate its worthiness depending on its intended purpose and application. Objective information will allow one to identify the heart of a problem. Knowing that one is looking at the crux of a situation will expose authentic reasons behind ideas, potential conflicts in suggestions, and hidden motives in associations. Once logic has stripped away the excess, creativity can allow innovative and alternative solutions to surface for consideration. Another benefit of critical thinking is that it allows the removal of emotion and irrationality caused by human relationships. Once the personal is removed from the evaluation of information, the members can acknowledge the common goal as a team.

What is Critical Thinking? There is not one single definition to explain what Critical Thinking is, but most experts would probably agree with Barry K. Beyer’s definition: Critical Thinking is the process of determining authenticity, accuracy, and worth of information or knowledge claims or arguments (Totten). Ted Feeley provides another mainstream definition: Critical Thinking is the evaluation of evidence based on acceptable standards (Totten). Both definitions include the concepts of analyzing and evaluating information, which imply the ability to assess the reliability of a source and make a distinction between fact and opinion.

All that we do, we do on the basis of personal motivations or reasons. We rarely examine our motivations to see if they make sense or if they are justified. It is possible to live without really taking charge of the persons we are becoming, without acting upon the skills and insights we are capable of; however, to be critical thinkers, we must become active, daily practitioners of critical thought. In order to grow as thinkers, we must also become committed to thinking critically and reflectively about our own lives and the lives of those around us.

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