Critical thinking is the act of analyzing facts to understand a problem or topic thoroughly. The critical thinking process typically includes steps such as collecting information and data, asking thoughtful questions and analyzing possible solutions. For example, if you’re working in human resources and need to resolve a conflict between two employees, you will use critical thinking to understand the nature of the conflict and what action should be taken to resolve the situation.
Part of critical thinking is the ability to carefully examine something, whether it is a problem, a set of data, or a text. People with analytical skills can examine information, understand what it means, and properly explain to others the implications of that information.
Often, you will need to share your conclusions with your employers or with a group of colleagues. You need to be able to communicate with others to share your ideas effectively. You might also need to engage critical thinking in a group. In this case, you will need to work with others and communicate effectively to figure out solutions to complex problems.
Critical thinking often involves creativity and innovation. You might need to spot patterns in the information you are looking at or come up with a solution that no one else has thought of before. All of this involves a creative eye that can take a different approach from all other approaches.
Critical thinking skills are essential in every industry at every career level, from entry-level associates to top executives. Good critical thinkers can work both independently and with others to solve problems.
1. The California Critical Thinking Assessment Test. This is the most widely used, and is actually a family of tests, with different versions for different ages, educational levels and professional fields. It is based on research and is considered a reliable and objective measure of core reasoning skills. It allows test-takers to show the critical thinking skills required for successfully solving problems and making decisions.
“ This test is designed to help organisations make decisions about staffing and development. It is completed online, with test questions drawn from a large pool. ”
“ It is used widely for selecting candidates for graduate, professional and managerial jobs. This test has five subcategories that measure critical thinking ability, the ability to use evidence to draw conclusions and how test-takers use logic to differentiate between inferences, abstractions, and generalisations. ”
“ These are tests for students in grades 5 to 12+. As well as testing students’ critical thinking skills, they are sometimes used to teach critical thinking, for university admissions, careers, and employment, and for research.”
Here are five common and impactful critical thinking skills you might consider highlighting on your resume or in an interview
You should be aware that none of us think critically all the time.
Ignorant certainty is the belief that there are definite, correct answers to all questions–all you have to do is find the right source (102). It’s understandable that a lot of students come into college thinking this way–it’s enough to get you through most of your high school coursework.
Naive relativism is the belief that there is no truth and all arguments are equal (102-103). According to Roberts, this is often a view that students adopt once they learn the error of ignorant certainty.
Sometimes an explanation becomes so complex that the original question get lost. To avoid this, continually go back to the basic questions you asked when you set out to solve the problem.