What is the difference between mindset, personal mental attributes, mental disciplines, dispositions and habits of mind?
These terms are now used interchangeably. Mindset is the most straightforward non-technical term in the list. In each case we are referring to the consistent internal motivation to engage problems in a certain way. The positive habits of mind we prize are those which orient decision makers and problem solvers toward using reflective judgment – that is, critical thinking, particularly when working on novel, high stakes, complex, questions in contexts of risk and uncertainty.
Individuals with a strong thinking mindset have the consistent internal motivation to engage problems and make decisions by applying their reasoning skills. Some people fail to think well because they lack strong mental habits that encourage the use of thinking and reasoning to solve problems; they make bad decisions or avoid making any decision at all. Strong thinking mindset is characterized by attributes such as work ethic, commitment, focus and honesty
These mental attributes can be measured with instruments such as the
- CCTDI for use with the general adult population
- EDUCATE INSIGHT Thinking Mindset series for use with K-12 students
- BAI for students of business and related fields
- Part 1 of the MDCTI for military and defense personnel
- Part 1 the LSRP for legal studies , government and public policy related fields
- the INSIGHT series for business, science and engineering,health care, first responders and legal professionals and other employees
The essay “Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts” explains the attributes and their relationship to critical thinking skills. These personal mental attributes represent the “willing” part in the phrase “willing and able to think critically.”
For more information: Why measure critical thinking attributes?