Fifteen Positive Examples of Critical Thinking

Fifteen positive examples of critical thinking
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Everyone needs critical thinking

We all encounter opportunities in our daily lives to engage problems and decisions using strong critical thinking. Everyone needs to think ahead, to plan and to problem solve. In fact, strong thinking is the common denominator of success throughout the world.  It’s easy to find examples of  critical thinking skills being applied, everyday, in everyday life.

Here are fifteen positive examples of critical thinking:

  • A person trying to interpret an angry friend’s needs, expressed through a rush of emotion and snide comments, to give that friend some help and support.
  • A manager trying to be as objective as possible when settling a dispute by summarizing the alternatives, with fairness to all sides to a disagreement.
  • A team of scientists working with great precision through a complex experiment in an effort to gather and analyze data.
  • A creative writer organizing ideas for the plot of a story and attending to the complex motivations and personalities of the fictional characters.
  • A person running a small business trying to anticipate the possible economic and human consequences of various ways to increase sales or reduce costs.
  • A master sergeant and a captain working out the tactical plans for a dangerous military mission.
  • A soccer coach working during halftime on new tactics for attacking the weaknesses of the other team when the match resumes.
  • A student confidently and correctly explaining exactly to his or her peers the methodology used to reach a particular conclusion, or why and how a certain methodology or standard of proof was applied.
  • An educator using clever questioning to guide a student to new insights.
  • Police detectives, crime scene analysts, lawyers, judges, and juries systematically investigating, interrogating, examining, and evaluating the evidence as they seek justice.
  • A policy analyst reviewing alternative drafts of product safety legislation while determining how to frame the law to benefit the most people at the least cost.
  • An applicant preparing for a job interview thinking about how to explain his or her particular skills and experiences in a way that will be relevant and of value to the prospective employer.
  • Parents anticipating the costs of sending their young child to college, analyzing the family’s projected income, and budgeting projected household expenses in an effort to put aside some money for that child’s future education.
  • A financial planner anticipating the impact of new income tax legislation on a client’s future tax liabilities.
  • A first responder coming upon the scene of an accident and quickly analyzing the situation, evaluating priorities, and inferring what actions to take in what order.

 Examples of critical thinking from Facione, P. & Gittens C. Think Critically, Pearson Education

We hope this list stimulates you to find examples of critical thinking in your personal and professional life 

Critical thinking can be learned, assessed and improved.

Measuring critical thinking: Insight Assessment test instruments are calibrated to objectively measure the skills and mindset characteristic of strong critical thinkers in education, healthcare and business.  Each assessment is designed to assess how test takers solve problems and make decisions in real world situations. Validated group and individual reports provide comprehensive analysis of strengths and weaknesses in essential aspects of good thinking. Contact us to discuss how our assessment tools are being used across the world to measure and improve thinking.

Improving critical thinking: INSIGHT Development Program is designed to build critical thinking in teams as well as individuals. It provides a series of online thinking skills and mindset enrichment modules with accompanying exercises, access to an assessment metric and performance reporting tools.  Designed to be used as an independent study by employees, it can also be incorporated into existing training programs.

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