Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is the art of thinking about thinking while thinking in order to make thinking better (Paul & Scriven, 2007). It is the ability to weigh each component of the decision-making process against intellectual standards and improve thinking. The quality of work, the quality of life, and the quality of relationships are defined by the quality of thinking. Critical thinking allows us to be more effective communicators and more efficient problem solvers.
The intellectual standards outlined in our text are: intellectual autonomy, intellectual empathy, intellectual courage, and intellectual confidence in reason, intellectual fair-mindedness, intellectual perseverance, and intellectual sense of justice, intellectual humility, and intellectual integrity (Paul & Elder, 2006, p. 5). Critical thinkers make a conscious effort to hold themselves as well as those with opposing viewpoints, to very high standards employing the intellectual standards. They also recognize these virtues are interdependent; they all work together.
  Hold all viewpoints in a fair, unbiased, and unprejudiced   light
        Maintain the confidence to face ideas that challenge our thinking
      See things from a different point of view
      Hold ourselves and others to high standards
      Continue to work through difficult problems
      Respect evidence and reasoning
      Value independence of thought
    Once the intellectual standards are assessed, the critical thinker than seeks to improve the quality of thought. Critical thinkers understand the elements of reasoning. These elements are: purpose, question, information, inference, assumption, point of view, concepts, and implications (Elder & Paul, 2002).
  Have a well defined purpose
      Ask clear questions
      Use only information that is relevant and accurate
      Make logical conclusions based on only sound theories
      Understand our own point of view, and...