Critical thinking


Since the birth of the world being human you have sought ways to know all the answers that comprise the universe , which is why even exist things like science and religion , will continue to create systems of thought where seeks to reach partial truths or absolute as is the case with  critical thinking.


What is critical thinking?

The  critical thinking  is an analysis system whose purpose is  to understand and assess the way in which that knowledge organized  that seek to clarify and show the world , specifically all opinions those or statements that are made regularly and daily and often always be accepted as true.



The thinking critically is defined from a point relatively view practical , as a process in which it attends the knowledge and  intelligence  of the human being in order to achieve effectively the posture more reasonable and justified by reference to an established theme.


This process implies that knowledge and intelligence are used at all times . Among the guidelines that must be followed, the most important that the experts point out is to always maintain the idea of ​​giving critical thinking; as well as recognizing and avoiding cognitive biases ; manages to identify and characterize arguments; manage to evaluate the sources of information; and finally, evaluate all the arguments .

Critical thinking characteristics

Among the most outstanding characteristics of critical thinking are:

  • The first book that was published dealing with this issue was in 1980.
  • The conferences that are made to teach develop critical thinking generated only in the United States about 5 million dollars to the year.

What is it for

Critical thinking is a skill that any human being should develop because it has very specific conditions which can help them to deploy and solve problems in the best possible way , in addition to returning to the human being:

  • More analytical .
  • It allows you to know how to order the information in truth and not viable .
  • Develop more curiosity

Manage to increase your need to search for information on unfamiliar topics.

For its part when it stimulates this type of skills also they develop many other capacities of the brain such as creativity , the intuition , the reason and logic , among others.

Background and history

The origins of this style go back to the times of ancient Greece and attributed to the famous philosopher Socrates , and its original objective was always the promotion of criteria and criticism , that is, everything that evaluates the various knowledge was evaluated in a way exhaustive.

The term itself was coined for the first time thanks to some scholars of the time who decided to create a book with the name “Critical Think”, it was a book that was based on logic, specifically it was Max Black who frequently called the book that way.

Elements of critical thinking

The main elements of critical thinking are:

  • Reasonable thinking : What refers to a good thought supported by reasonable and viable thoughts, since the best conclusion is based on the best reason.
  • Focused thinking : What refers to having a purpose or a goal and not leaving it aside for any specific reason.
  • Decision about what we believe or do : What refers to evaluating the judgments that are created and actions that are taken.

Also, all these thoughts should be accompanied by:

  • It has a fixed purpose .
  • It arises from the attempt to solve a problem , to solve a question or explain some cognitive phenomenon .
  • It is always marked by assumptions .
  • It is backed up with totally reliable data , information and evidence .
  • It is expressed through correctly established concepts and ideas .


Among the skills that are most developed with critical thinking are:

  • Interpretation.
  • The analysis.
  • The logical reasoning .
  • The evaluation.
  • The inference .
  • The explanation.


The types of thought exist are:

  • Reactive thinking.
  • The lateral thinking .
  • Unified thinking.
  • Assertive thinking.
  • Unified thinking.


The currents that a person with critical thinking must have according to Robert Etnis must be:

  • Has an open mind and values ​​alternatives.
  • Try to be well informed.
  • Judge the credibility of sources well.
  • Identify conclusions, reasons, and premises.
  • Judge the quality of an argument well.
  • You can develop and defend a reasonable position well.
  • Asks appropriate clarification questions.
  • Formulate hypotheses , plan experiments well.
  • Define terms in a way appropriate to the context.
  • Draw justified conclusions, but with caution.

The steps for true critical thinking are:

  • Adopt the attitude of a critical thinker
  • Record and forecast critical thinking biases
  • Identify and characterize the arguments
  • Evaluate sources of information
  • Evaluation of the arguments

Strategies to develop critical thinking

The Dr. Richard Paul, of the Foundation for Critical Thinking , mark the seven Intellectuals Standards Universal known as strategies which should be applied to thinking whenever you want to assess the quality of reasoning as a problem, a theme or a particular situation . These are:

  • Clarity : Always keep the idea simple and straightforward.
  • Accuracy : Level of coherence within the structure of thought
  • Accuracy : Exact method to develop the structure of thought in a better way.
  • Relevance or relevance : Environment where the topic is developed.
  • Depth : When the level of analysis and explanation is sufficiently careful.
  • Amplitude : Extension assisted by knowledge for a better approach.
  • Logic : Argumentation adjusted to the regulations.

How it differs from logical thinking

The logical analysis admits that there is truth absolute and unchangeable , and in turn this truth has authority over human beings and implanted in others. However, this truth does not allow to be altered in any way.

The reasoner shows no interest in anything that might “work” for him ; simply he is dedicated to search all answers accurate even things that are before his birth . In other words, he is interested in objective truth and not in an analysis of thought  concepts, clearly marking his difference with critical thinking .


The importance of critical thinking is that it helps us solve problems that might not otherwise be possible. Thanks to him we can be more analytical and curious and it allows us to correctly classify information by separating what is viable from what is not. Another aspect to highlight regarding the importance of this type of thinking is that it allows the development of creativity, intuition, reason and logic .


Among the most outstanding authors are:

  • Greg R. Haskins.
  • Robert Todd Carroll.
  • Kahneman, D., Slovic.
  • Richard Miller.
  • Alcock, J.
  • Allport, Gordon.
  • Berglas, S.
  • Brugger, Peter
  • Carroll, Robert Todd
  • Dweck, Carol S
  • Paul, R., Elder, L.

Books on critical thinking

Some of the most prominent books are:

  • A Guide for Educators on Critical Thinking Proficiency Standards. Foundation for Critical Thinking. From 2005.
  • Introduction to critical thinking, intended as a handy tool to help anyone evaluate or develop sound reasoning and arguments, based on The Skeptic’s Dictionary and Becoming a Critical Thinker. From 1980.
  • Reducing student belief in the paranormal, offered insights on helping students become more critical thinkers. From 1994.
  • A Cognitive Neuroscience View of Paranormal and Pseudoscientific Thought, ‘in Haunting and Poltergeists: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. 2001.

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