3 Signs You’re Not Critically Thinking (and Their Solutions)

With all this talk about critical thinking, the emphasis is placed on critical thinking tips, benefits and even characteristics of good critical thinkers. Everyone wants to believe they’re a good critical thinker but in reality not everyone is. It can be hard to take a step back and identify the signs someone isn’t critically thinking. So I’ve compiled a list of three sings you’re not critically thinking and solutions to fix them. You’ll see that you recognize these signs a lot more often than you’d like in the real world. The solutions take extra time and practice but if you ask me becoming a better critical thinker far outweighs the cost.

WARNING SIGN: You make decisions based on first impressions and gut feelings.

SOLUTION: Take time to evaluate the arguments. Be aware of persuasion techniques, especially when someone is trying to influence you. Before you draw a conclusion make sure you weigh the data carefully.  Make sure you decipher the relevant data from the “noise” that may trigger gut reactions.

WARNING SIGN: You often agree with & favor opinions that align with yours.

SOLUTION: When you evaluate the arguments try to recognize your biases & those of other’s. Try to avoid confirmation bias by asking questions. Before you draw a conclusion make sure you’ve used multiple sources to help validate or disprove findings. You can even ask others to critique you decisions.

WARNING SIGN: You let your emotions get the best of you. Your emotions impact your decisions and/or let you act impulsively.

SOLUTION: Once you realize emotions are running high, stop. This often happens when someone is strongly invested in a situation or project. Though difficult, the best thing to do when things get heated is to take a break, walk away from the situation or change the subject. Revisit the situation later but acknowledge that you’re emotional and try to separate them from the conversation.

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Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Elizabeth Pauker-Silva

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