Facione, PA, Sánchez, (Gittens) CA, Facione, NC, & Gainen, J., (1995). Journal of General Education. Volume 44, Number 1, pp. 1-25. [This PDF made available with the permission of the publisher. See journal front-matter for information on copy costs.] (17 pages)
Abstract: There is a set of characterological attributes thought to be associated with developing success at critical thinking (CT). This paper explores the disposition toward CT theoretically, and then as it appears to be manifest in college students. Factor analytic research grounded in a consensus-based conceptual analysis of CT described seven aspects of the overall disposition toward CT: truthseeking, open-mindedness, analyticity, systematicity, CT confidence, inquisitiveness, and cognitive maturity. The California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI), developed in 1992, was used to sample college students at two comprehensive universities. Entering college freshman students showed strengths in open-mindedness and inquisitiveness, weaknesses in systematicity and opposition to truthseeking. Additional research indicates the disposition toward CT is highly correlated with the psychological constructs of absorption and openness to experience, and strongly predictive of ego-resiliency. A preliminary study explores the interesting and potentially complex interrelationship between the disposition toward CT and CT abilities. In addition to the significance of this work for psychological studies of human development, empirical research on the disposition toward CT promises important implications for all levels of education.