The short answer: Having strong critical thinking skills is not enough. A strong critical thinker is both willing and able to use their critical thinking to inform all important decision-making
There is a characterological profile that describes people who can be relied upon to think well. These people have personal attributes that lead to their preference to use critical thinking when deciding what to believe and what to do. Some individuals have a mindset that makes them want to think well but they do not have the skills to think well. Other have the skills but lack the mindset that leads to a preferential use of their thinking skills. One must be both willing and able to think well to be a reliable problem solver and decision maker.
The importance of mindset in relationship to reasoning well is not a new idea. The discussion of specific attributes (intellectual virtues, habits of mind) being associated with sound reasoning and decision making traces its way through the descriptions of great leaders throughout the centuries. Until the early 1990’s, the discussion of these attributes remained within the realm of theoretical writing, and anecdotal observation, rather than the subject of scientific investigation. Most educators assumed that there was a definite relationship between demonstrated strength in critical thinking skills and one or more attributes displayed by good thinkers (open-mindedness, organization, honesty, etc.), but, lacking valid and reliable assessment instruments to measure these attributes, no one was testing this assumption. As valid and reliable instruments to measure thinking mindset became available, we learned that it is not wise to assume that reasoning skills and a thinking mindset always go together.
Insight Assessment provides a variety of thinking mindset instruments that can be used to assess whether an individual has the attributes associated with strong reasoning and decision making skills. The INSIGHT mindset assessments blend these attributes with other desirable workplace attributes to provide a rich assessment of candidates’ and employees thinking mindset.