California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI)

California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI)

California Critical Thinking Skills Disposition Inventory Image of a CCTDI Individual report Sample CCTDI report histogram showing results on the Truth-seeking scale University Executive Director provides testimonial about Insight Assessment client services and support Insight Assessment critical thinking tests available in Arabic, Chinese-Simplified, Chinese-Traditional, Dutch, English, Farsi, Finnish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish & Vietnamese translations Brown paper background with a strip of paper torn to reveal the words PREVIEW
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The California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory is the premier tool for surveying the dispositional aspects of critical thinking. The CCTDI is specifically designed to measure the disposition to engage problems and make decisions using critical thinking. One must be disposed to think critically as well as have the skills to do so. The CCTDI is designed for use with the general adult population.

CCTDI Purpose

The CCTDI measures the “willing” dimension in the expression “willing and able” to think critically (also described as having a lifelong learning mindset). High scores on the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory are positively correlated with a strong desire to apply one’s critical thinking skills in decision making and problem solving, with leadership, with ego resilience, and with the capacity to benefit from educational training and psychological counseling.

  • The CCTDI is based on the expert consensus characterization of the “ideal critical thinker” articulated in the APA Delphi Report.
  • The CCTDI is calibrated for use with the general adult population. This includes students in grades 10 and above, including undergraduates, technical and professional school students, and graduate students. It is also used for employees and working professionals at all levels.
  • In English, or one of our numerous authorized translations, the CCTDI has been used to gather information about job candidates and program applicants (to inform teachers/trainers,  academic advisors and HR personnel), and for projects such as learning outcomes assessment, program evaluation, accreditation self-studies and psychological research.

California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory
Assessment Overview

The CCTDI invites respondents to indicate the degree to which they agree or disagree with statements expressing familiar opinions, beliefs, values, expectations and perceptions that relate to the reflective formation of reasoned judgments.

The CCTDI has been demonstrated to perform well in secondary school students, the general public, graduate students and working professionals, in the United States and in more than 40 countries around the world.

Items avoid technical vocabulary or critical thinking jargon. The metric is not knowledge, but the mindset and frame of mind to challenge biases and beliefs and seek out new knowledge, throughout life.  The CCTDI is administered with 30 minute time limit.

Scales Reported

The CCTDI measures seven  attributes that influence an individual’s capacity to learn and to effectively apply critical thinking skills: the disposition toward truth-seeking or bias, toward open-mindedness or intolerance, toward anticipating possible consequences or being heedless of them, toward proceeding in a systematic or unsystematic way, toward being confident in the powers of reasoning or mistrustful of thinking, toward being inquisitive or resistant to learning, and toward mature and nuanced judgment or toward rigid simplistic thinking.

California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory
Test Administration

App-based assessment is available on a wide array of platforms, for both mobile and non-mobile users, 24/7 via our secure, encrypted, online, multi-lingual interface.  An in-app tutorial makes it simple to administer the assessment. An in-app tutorial makes it simple to administer the assessment for those unfamiliar with CCTDI.

Recommended Companion Assessments

Engaging problems and making decisions using critical thinking involves utilizing both skills and habits of mind. For a complete assessment of a test-taker’s critical thinking, it is recommended that skills should also be measured. Using a companion assessment results in a comprehensive measurement of whether a test taker is “‘willing and able” to think well.

The CCTDI can be taken in conjunction with multiple Insight Assessment skills test instruments including the college-level California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST). Our client relations specialists will help you determine the optimal skills assessment for your objectives.

Critical Thinking Online Training

Next steps?  The CCTDI reveals test-takers who are proficient along with those requiring further development in the attributes that support critical thinking.  The Keys & Strategies Critical Thinking Course is available for individuals requiring intervention to gain this necessary competency for study and the future of work.  There are 20 educational modules, proven to build critical thinking skills and the lifelong learning mindset to apply those skills. 

The California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory CCTDI measures seven components of aspect of the overall disposition toward using one’s critical thinking to form judgments about what to believe or what to do:  Truthseeking, Open-mindedness,  Analyticity, Systematicity, Confidence in Reasoning, Inquisitiveness and Maturity of Judgment.

People may be positively, ambivalently, or negatively disposed on each of seven aspects of the overall disposition toward critical thinking.


Truthseeking is the habit of always desiring the best possible understanding of any given situation; it is following reasons and evidence where ever they may lead, even if they lead one to question cherished beliefs. Truth-seekers ask hard, sometimes even frightening questions; they do not ignore relevant details; they strive not to let bias or preconception color their search for knowledge and truth. The opposite of truthseeking is bias which ignores good reasons and relevant evidence in order not to have to face difficult ideas.


Open-mindedness is the tendency to allow others to voice views with which one may not agree. Open-minded people act with tolerance toward the opinions of others, knowing that often we all hold beliefs which make sense only from our own perspectives. Open-mindedness, as used here, is important for harmony in a pluralistic and complex society where people approach issues from different religious, political, social, family, cultural, and personal backgrounds. The opposite of open-mindedness is intolerance.


Analyticity is the tendency to be alert to what happens next. This is the habit of striving to anticipate both the good and the bad potential consequences or outcomes of situations, choices, proposals, and plans. The opposite of analyticity is being heedless of consequences, not attending to what happens next when one makes choices or accepts ideas uncritically.


Systematicity is the tendency or habit of striving to approach problems in a disciplined, orderly, and systematic way. The habit of being disorganized is the opposite tendency. The person who is strong in systematicity may not know of a given approach, or may not be skilled at using a given strategy of problem solving, but that person has the desire and tendency to try to approach questions and issues in an organized and orderly way. 

Confidence in Reasoning

Confidence in reasoning is the habitual tendency to trust reflective thinking to solve problems and to make decisions. As with the other attributes measured here, confidence in reasoning applies to individuals and to groups.  A family, team, office, community, or society can be trustful of reasoned judgment as the means of solving problems and reaching goals. The opposite habit is mistrust of reasoning, often manifested as aversion to the use of careful reason and reflection when making decisions or deciding what to believe or do.


Inquisitiveness is intellectual curiosity. It is the tendency to want to know things, even if they are not immediately or obviously useful. It is being curious and eager to acquire new knowledge and to learn the explanations for things even when the applications of that new learning are not immediately apparent. The opposite of inquisitiveness is indifference.

Maturity of Judgment

Maturity of judgment is the habit of seeing the complexity of issues and yet striving to make timely decisions.  A person with maturity of judgment understands that multiple solutions may be acceptable while yet appreciating the need to reach closure at times even in the absence of complete knowledge. The opposite, cognitive immaturity, is imprudent, black-and-white thinking, failing to make timely decisions, stubbornly refusing to change when reasons and evidence would indicate one is mistaken, or revising opinions willy-nilly without good reason for doing so.

The CCTDI has been designed to deliver high quality objective metrics on the strengths and weaknesses of key aspects of thinking.

CCTDI reports deliver individual and group results in a presentation ready format.   Each report includes a wide range of statistical and demographic information about individuals and/or test-taker groups. Test-taker scores and group summaries are presented with interpretative analysis by Insight Assessment measurement scientists.

The CCTDI  measures and reports on an array of mental disciplines:  Truthseeking, Open-mindedness,  Analyticity, Systematicity, Confidence in Reasoning, Inquisitiveness and Maturity of Judgment.

Insight Assessment clients depend on the comprehensive data and analysis in a CCTDI report to provide the insights needed to achieve their assessment goals.  Clients are currently using individual data for professional development, student or in placement, hiring, advising, competency training. Group data is being used for new cohort assessment, outcomes assessment, demonstrating the quality of an educational or training program, demonstrating group proficiency, staff development, admissions and more.

Clients can customize their results package with additional analyses, graphics and interpretative text discussing your scores in relationship to your particular goals and objectives.

For further information: Insight Assessment Reports and Analytics.

To see a Sample CCTDI Individual Report

Why Choose Insight Assessment for Education

Insight Assessment provides world-class reasoning skills testing, thinking mindset assessment, instructor and student learning resources, and highly responsive client support services to educational clients including universities, colleges, K-12 schools, and individual researchers.

We are dedicated to supplying the very best online instrumentation, client-specific data gathering capacity, report generation options, and professional development consulting services possible so that educators can accurately assess and successfully nurture in students a positive critical thinking mindset and strengthen their students’ critical thinking skills. 

Since 1986 we have assisted thousands of educational institutions, doctoral dissertation candidates, and grant-funded scholars to gather valid and reliable data for applicant selection, student retention, student success, program evaluation, educational effectiveness, faculty development, quality-improvement plans, educational research, and accreditation self-study purposes.

Insight Assessment Solutions Set the Standard:


World- leading critical thinking assessments and educational development tools

  • Well-established, valid, reliable, culturally sensitive measures of students’ critical thinking mindset dispositions and their critical thinking skills applicable across all academic fields of study.
  • Different tools specifically tailored and calibrated for each educational level: graduate, undergraduate, community college, and K-12 students at all levels.
  • Online delivery in as many as 30 languages including English, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese. Currently available language options vary by the instrument selected for use.  
  • Engaging, self-development online critical thinking training modules and the Keys & Strategies Course Pack for high school, college, and adult learners.
  • A library of free instructional resources and research on critical thinking to support faculty development.
  • Deep discounts for non-profit educational institutions, NGOs, doctoral dissertation scholars, and researchers funded by external grants.

Relevant, immediate, and actionable score and analytics reporting

  •  Online reports package includes statistical and graphical presentations of aggregated group data and detailed “stats-ready” scores for each student assessed on each metric.
  • Client training in the use of our online report generation tool to enable authorized personnel to generate custom reports, aggregating and disaggregating data by school, discipline, classroom, or any of the custom questions that the client may have included.
  • Comprehensive group reports provide quantitative and qualitative scores on each metric assessed, applicable percentile benchmark of the overall critical thinking score, table of descriptive statistics for each metric, and presentation-ready color graphics displaying group performance on each metric.
  • Printable individual reports specify qualitative and quantitative scores, percentile score if relevant, and detailed descriptions of each metric to aid in understanding more fully the individual’s strengths and weakness in reasoning skills or dispositional mindset attributes.
  • Client’s choice of US or international comparison percentile group to rank each overall critical thinking score for organizational and individual benchmarking purposes. Available percentile benchmark selections vary by the instrument selected for use.

Superior assessment services

  •  Starting with an initial consultation to learn about your project, our experienced assessment specialists work with you on instrument selection and administration strategies that can best support your project.
  • We assist clients in adding client-specific custom questions to enable organizing, managing, and analyzing the critical thinking assessment data that they plan to collect with our secure encrypted data collection and fully customizable student profile options.
  • We demonstrate how easy it is to administer assessments even to very young students using our intuitive, browser-based, multilingual online testing system on almost any device: computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  • We assist with privacy protection strategies, including, if needed, completely anonymous double-blind assessments.
  • Preview packages enable future clients to experience the intended assessment tool in exactly the same way their students would. Preview packs include access to the full user manual.A

Training and consulting services

  • Faculty development workshops focused on effective classroom strategies used to teach for critical thinking across the full spectrum of academic subject areas. Highly experienced academic workshop leaders with a track record of presenting engaging and effective faculty workshops at national conferences and on site.  
  • Institutional effectiveness consulting to assist with preparation for accreditation and outcomes assessment projects. Senior level consultants with solid academic resumes and many years of direct experience in higher education leadership positions.   
Need to expedite your project?  We can have your first online testing assignment available for your students within 24 hours. 

Contact us today
Get started by calling 650-697-5628 and speaking with one of our assessment specialists today.

For information on how to purchase Insight Assessment solutions  

Some of the current authorized translations of the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory are listed below. Insight Assessment is constantly working on expanding the multilingual capabilities of our products. Please contact us to discuss the availability of these and other additional language options

  • Arabic
  • Chinese Simplified
  • Chinese Traditional
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Farsi
  • Finnish
  • French Canadian
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Icelandic
  • Indonesian – Bahasa
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Malay
  • Portuguese
  • Portuguese- Brazil
  • Spanish
  • Thai
  • Turkish

As a qualified purchaser, we offer the option of purchasing a preview of the assessment experience.

A preview provides you with one or more opportunities to view and experience the assessment from the perspective of the individual being assessed and to see the reporting options.

Your account representative will set up your preview of the instrument on mobile devices or on computers. The preview includes the profile page, an example of the assessment itself, and an example of the individual report that will be provided at completion of the assessment.

Each preview also includes a digital copy of the user manual and resource guide for the specific instrument you are viewing. User manuals provide:

  • a brief description of each metric being assessed by the instrument;
  • a description of how to interpret both individual and group assessment results;
  • a discussion of validity and reliability for the measures;
  • all necessary information about administration of the assessment;
  • many additional resources that we hope you will find useful for designing your assessment project.

Contact us to order a preview now, or receive your preview when you place your first order for assessments.


Request a price quote.

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