What is critical thinking

What is Critical thinking?: Thinking Outside the Box

The word critical thinking comes from the word “critique” which itself means analysis, an assessment of any political, cultural, literary, or even social idea. Critical thinking in layman’s terms would be thinking deeply about problems and their solutions, assessing a problem completely from every angle, and having a far-sighted view about opinions and objectives based on fact rather than on personal preferences.

Is critical thinking a skill?

Critical thinking can be easily characterized as an attitude or a skill, that is because it is easy to develop within yourself that is a characteristic of an attitude that it is originating from the inside. Also, it is something that strengthens and improves as we practice it, the more we depend on critical thinking the better we get at it.

Characteristics of a Critical Thinker

Critical thinkers possess several key characteristics that set them apart. They exhibit intellectual curiosity, constantly questioning and seeking deeper understanding. They are open-minded and receptive to diverse perspectives, recognizing the value of different viewpoints in shaping their own opinions. Critical thinkers are also analytical, breaking down complex ideas into manageable components and evaluating them systematically. They possess strong reasoning abilities, allowing them to identify logical flaws and fallacies in arguments. Moreover, critical thinkers demonstrate effective communication skills, articulating their thoughts clearly and persuasively.

The Process of Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a structured process that involves several key steps. By following this process, individuals can enhance their analytical and evaluative abilities, leading to more effective problem-solving and decision-making.


As much as it is important to question and answer upon values and beliefs it is important to also first recognize which problems should be evaluated, are these problems generic are these problems? Do these problems affect us or our society in a way?


If someone thinks that there is a problem with our country’s economy then a variety of variables should be brought to light like per capita income, GDP, imports/exports data, etc. and if this data is signaling an economic decline then the problem brought was valid and now it must be worked upon.


A key part of critical thinking is understanding the basics of argumentation. Argumentation is a process using information and facts to support a particular point of view. Now that the problem is there a solution is required that solution would be produced through brainstorming arguments and counterarguments. Since the problem is of economy some people would argue through justifications that a global pandemic is going on while others would mention examples of economies that have outgrown even in such a time than resources of such economies would be discussed upon a large number of questions followed by answers followed by more questions would be the precis of this discussion, none of the parties would accept others’ argument blindly neither they would be able to assert theirs all question would be met by answers and then y more questions to a get to the actual solution.

Socratic method of critical thinking

Critical thinking has always been in development and among the people who worked most for its nurturing, Socrates is one of the giants.


Socrates in his time was arrested by the then greek state for his ideas, people thought he was influencing the youth in the wrong direction, but he was not being arrested for his unconventional answers to questions but the unconventional questions themselves, which forced any wise to think upon the problem rather than accepting it blindly, his rapid and careful questioning of everything led to the intellectual development of his era.

Importance of questions and answers

Once a young person went up to Socrates, a young person named Euthydemus was confident that he can differentiate between justice and injustice. so a dialog was held between him and Socrates.

Socrates begins with a question 

Are lying and theft justice or injustice?

Euthydemus immediately categorized them as injustices 

Socrates followed that up with another question

Is it unjust for a general to deceive a hostile army?

Euthydemus replied it is unjust when done to friends and just when done to friends

Socrates prompted another question 

Is it justified for a general to lie to his troops for morale boosting?

Now Euthydemus took some time 

This conversation went on for a long time and the summary was each answer was leading to another question causing the person to think more about it and devise another solution

This gives us our answer that questioning and answering is indeed the best way possible to analyze and assess problems and come up with solutions that are backed up by facts and evidence


To support this question-oriented approach to critical thinking skepticism is an important tool. It simply refers to an attitude of doubt towards all sorts of knowledge, not accepting anything blindly but instead thinking upon it,  being skeptical leads a person to upgrade his knowledge and intellect since whenever ideas are presented to him he thinks about them he understands underlying facts that support the vision and only then accepts it


As much as being skeptical about issues is important it is also important for a person to keep his mind open to new ideas, his thought process must be able to entertain new thoughts, when something is presented to him he neither rejects it blindly nor does he accept it readily. he works on the solution he gathers evidence to back or reject the problem, in either case, his thoughts are to be challenged and it is important for him to continuously answer himself through information backed by proven facts and evidence


After all of this confusion of questions and answers, individuals should also draw conclusions based on these ideas. If questioned and answered correctly in such a manner that biases are removed, all problems produce results that substantiate the actual reason something is right or wrong, and societies and individuals that try to find solutions through the power of critical thinking do improve and refine into intellectually superior societies and beings.


Why is critical thinking important?

We receive a lot of information every day and it is almost certain that some of the information might be false therefore it is extremely important to keep a skeptical mind. Skepticism offers an approach to question each and everything and since everything has some sort of bias and it is necessary to check whether that information is backed by some facts or not is the information consistent with real-world experiences.
Filtering out biases and advancement helps us take more informed and reasoned decisions and improve our problem-solving skills, decision-making skills, and overall career growth. It increases our confidence because we know that our decisions and approaches are practical, not emotional.

what is an example of critical thinking?

A critical thinker can analyze and evaluate information objectively and logically in order to form well-reasoned judgments or make informed decisions. The following scenario illustrates critical thinking:
Imagine you come across a news article claiming that the latest study has found a direct link between eating chocolate and increased intelligence. Instead of accepting the headline at face value, a critical thinker would engage in the following thought process.
1. Analyzing the source: They would examine the credibility and reputation of the news outlet and the author to determine if they have a history of reliable reporting or if there is potential bias.
2. Evaluating the study: They would assess the methodology, sample size, and other relevant details of the research study mentioned in the article. They might question the scientific validity and rigor of the study to ensure it was conducted properly and produced reliable results.
3. Considering alternative perspectives: They would seek out other research studies or expert opinions to see if there is consensus or conflicting evidence on the topic. They would consider whether there are other factors or variables that could explain the reported link between chocolate and intelligence.
4. Examining logical reasoning: They would assess whether the article’s conclusions are logically connected to the evidence presented. They might identify flaws in the reasoning, such as correlation being mistaken for causation or inadequate control of confounding variables.
5. Withholding judgment: Instead of accepting or rejecting the claim outright, a critical thinker would suspend judgment until they have gathered enough reliable evidence and critically assessed the information from various angles.
In this example, critical thinking involves questioning, analyzing, and evaluating the information provided rather than accepting it blindly. It entails an active and skeptical approach to information processing, aiming to arrive at well-informed conclusions based on evidence and logical reasoning.

what is the purpose of critical thinking?

Critical thinking helps us analyze, evaluate, and understand information thoughtfully and rationally. It involves actively questioning and examining ideas, arguments, and evidence to form well-reasoned judgments and make informed decisions.

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