California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory

California Critical Thinking Skills Disposition Inventory
California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory

The California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI) is the premier instrument for assessing critical thinking mindset and provides valid and reliable data for individuals and for groups. The CCTDI is an educational assessment of the mindset dimension of critical thinking.  It is designed for use with undergraduate and graduate students. Independent scholars have demonstrated the importance of these mindset attributes in cultures around the world.  Clients most commonly use the CCTDI for admissions, advising, studies of curriculum effectiveness, and the documentation of student learning outcomes.

Population: The CCTDI is calibrated for undergraduate, graduate level college students and the adult learners across all fields of study.  

Administration: Administer at any time, in any location with our user-friendly, encrypted, online, multi-lingual interface.

Support Materials: The CCTDI User Manual includes all needed information about administering the assessment and interpreting the resulting individual and group scores.

Specs: 30 minutes timed administration; 75 engaging, Likert-style agree/disagree items.

Deliverables: Group graphics with statistical summary of scores; Excel spreadsheet of responses to all custom demographic questions, and all scores for each person tested. Optional individual score reports for administrators and/or test takers.

Results Reported with a brief statement of what each metric represents:

    • Truth-seeking– Courage to follow reasons and evidence wherever they lead
    • Open-mindedness – Willingness to consider a variety of alternative opinions
    • Analyticity (Foresight) – Consistent effort to anticipate consequences
    • Systematicity (Focus) – Habit of taking an orderly and organized approach to problem-solving
    • Confidence in Reasoning – Disciplined reliance on well-reasoned judgment
    • Inquisitiveness – Continuous attention to and desire for learning
    • Cognitive Maturity – Expectation of making timely, well considered judgments

Scoring: The CCTDI is scored on a 60-point scale with a corresponding qualitative rating (Strong Negative, Negative, Inconsistent, Positive, Strong Positive).

Optional Custom Questions: At no additional cost clients can add up to ten client-specific custom descriptive demographic questions to the assessment profile to enable sub-group reports.

Culturally Competent Translations: English, Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Dutch, Farsi, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Icelandic, Indonesian-Bahasa, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Portuguese, Portuguese-Brazil, Spanish, Thai, and Turkish languages.

License to Administer the CCTDI: Sold globally exclusively to public and private educational institutions; DOE, NSF, NIH, RWJ, and other grant-funded projects; higher education program evaluation consultants; doctoral dissertation scholars; and other government and agency level entities.


Comprehensive assessment support services are available to not-for-profit educational organizations, government agencies, NGOs, dissertation scholars, and funded research clients.

Starting with an initial consultation to learn about your project, our experienced assessment specialists support your project in multiple ways, all included with your purchase of account setup and assessment use licenses. 

  • Instrument selection: We help the client find the academic assessment instrument(s) which best fit the educational level and broad subject matter area of the individuals to be assessed.
  • Administration strategies: Clients can keep test takers anonymous or use personal identifiers; sampling methods can measure an aggregated group profile without testing everyone.
  • Privacy Protection: We assist the client with privacy protection strategies, including, if needed, completely anonymous double-blind assessments.
  • Assessment logistics: We help clients assess program applicants onsite or remotely, gather pretest/post-test learning outcomes data, and generate individual or group logins.
  • Introducing client-specific custom questions: Clients can enable organizing, managing, and analyzing the assessment data that they plan to collect by introducing up to ten client-designed demographic profile questions. We assist clients with this process.
  • Client assessment administration setup: We orient the client to the use of their assessment administration interface by walking them through the processes of creating a testing assignment, including designating the start and end dates and choosing whether to display on-screen assessment results to the individual test-taker.
  • Report Generation: We orient clients on the use of the online report generation tool that produces customized group reports, aggregating and disaggregating data by the demographic variables they have collected (e.g., Training group, admission cohort, school, program, or any other custom demographic data that the client may have included).
  • 24/7/365 emergency technical support for our client testing administrators.

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.

Preview Packs enable future clients to experience the intended assessment tool in exactly the same way it will be used in their planned project. The user manual and two logins are included.


CCTDI score metrics: Truth-seeking, Open-mindedness, Analyticity, Systematicity, Confidence in Reason, Inquisitiveness, and Maturity of Judgment (seven mindset attributes needed by the critical thinker. Items are drawn from a scientifically developed and tested item pool.

Truth-seeking: Truth-seeking is the habit of always desiring the best possible understanding of any given situation; it is following reasons and evidence wherever 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 truth-seeking is bias which ignores good reasons and relevant evidence in order not to have to face difficult ideas.

Open-mindedness: 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: 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: 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: 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 California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI) Report Package includes an individual test-taker report for each person assessed and group summary reports for each group and sub-group in the sample.

Reports are generated immediately after the conclusion of testing and are available for clients to download, making real time assessment possible. Read more about how our customer support specialists work with clients to select their reporting options on our Services tab or contact us for a consultation.

Group analytics include:Images from Insight Assessment Group Reports

    • Clients can generate and download Excel spreadsheet files of all scores (Truth-seeking, Open-mindedness, Analyticity, Systematicity, Confidence in Reason, Inquisitiveness, and Maturity of Judgment- the seven mindset attributes needed by the critical thinker). At the option of the client, these also include the responses to optional custom demographic questions added by the client to the assessment profile.
    • Presentation-ready tables and graphic representations of the score distribution for each of the seven CCTDI mindset metrics.  
    • Customers who have added custom demographic questions can generate sub-group reports for these variables, or for specific testing sessions or time periods.   

Optional Individual Test-Taker Reports include:Sample report showing Individual report on critical thinking attributes test (CCTDI)

  • Scores for each of the seven CCTDI mindset metrics are reported on a 60-point scale accompanied with a qualitative interpretation (Strong Negative, Negative, Inconsistent, Positive, Strong Positive).
  • The Individual Test Taker Report can be pushed to an email address of the client’s choosing (for example, to an admissions office email, institutional assessment email, dean’s office email, etc.).
  • The client controls whether individual reports are made available to the test-taker.


Companion Thinking Skills Assessments

Engaging problems and making decisions relies on both reasoning skills and habits of mind. For a complete assessment of critical thinking, it is recommended that skills and mindset be included to assess whether a person is both ‘willing and able’ to think well. Assessments of critical thinking skills commonly administered together with the CCTDI:

Need to expedite your project?  We can have your first online testing assignment available for your students within 24 hours. Contact us today or get started by calling 650-697-5628 and speaking with one of our assessment specialists today.

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