Why Measure Critical Thinking Attributes?
People who cannot think as well as we need them to think, whether they are workers, parents, children, supervisors, teachers, soldiers or elders impact the success of our schools, businesses and society. What can be done when a weakness in thinking skills has been identified in a group of students or workers?
Is this weakness simply a matter of their skills, or is it a question of their habits of mind, that is, their disposition toward using thinking as a preferred means of problem solving and decision making? Are they approaching important problems and decisions with the disposition to closed-mindedness, resistance to reason, disregard for evidence, indifference to vital information, mistrust of thinking, indifference toward consequences, and little desire to attend to the complexities or subtleties of the decisions and problems at hand?
Just as these troubling and dysfunctional thinking habits of mind can be identified, their opposites, that is the beneficial habits of mind and dispositions toward using thinking, can also be identified -- and both can be measured. Insight Assessment offers the world's leading tools for measuring critical thinking habits of mind including the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI), the California Measure of Mental Motivation series: (CM3 Level IA, CM3 Level IB, CM3 Level II+, CM3 Level III), the Business Attribute Inventory (BAI), the Military and Defense Critical Thinking Inventory Part 1 (MDCTI) and the Legal Studies Reasoning Profile Part 1 (LSRP). The INSIGHT tools measure the important thinking mindsets and habits of mind that support strong decision making in the workplace.
Each measurement tool focuses on a similar array of attributes and values that influence a person's capacity to learn and to effectively apply critical thinking skills. Critical thinking disposition and skills go hand in hand: the "'willing and able" of human reasoning and problem solving.
Everyone must learn to think well to live happy lives and to be active and productive members of society. Some people fail to think well because they lack strong mental habits that encourage the use of thinking and reasoning to solve problems. Some people have deficient skills. But nurturing the habits of mind enables strengthening the skills. And successes in using the skills reciprocates by nourishing and supporting those positive dispositions, such as truth-seeking, open-mindedness, a desire to learn, cognitive maturity, a tendency to try to anticipate of consequences, and warranted confidence in reasoning.
Our common goal as professionals, educators and leaders is to support the development of individuals and communities that are willing and able to apply critical thinking in their daily work, studies and lives. For more on thinking dispositions and how they relate to thinking skills, download your free copy of "Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts."