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BLOG Archive - 4 / 2017

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Don't Even Think About It

At the root of every study of human reasoning and decision making is the question: How can we make people more skilled in critical thinking and more committed to those skills? 

  • Every leader, every health care provider, every business executive, every educator, every coach, every organizer, every first responder, every scientist, every security officer, every person trying to learn something, solves problems or figures out how things work needs critical thinking.  Some people are more skilled, others less so.  Some are more persistent, well-organized, analytical, mature, inquisitive, and truth-seeking in their approach.  Others less so. 

Researchers are focusing more and more attention on effective methods for developing a sustained willingness and ability to engage problems and concerns using critical thinking.

Here are just a few ways that emphasis is expressed in different research projects:

  • How can we develop an increasingly capable human workforce to address the economic needs of the future?
  • Which critical thinking skills and habits of mind are most closely related to personal decisions about healthy eating?
  • How do programs at different educational levels or in different content domains such as robotics, science, mathematics, the creative arts, or the humanities impact the development of critical thinking?
  • What mindset characteristics make some health care providers better diagnosticians? 
  • How can we develop the critical thinking skills of fifth graders in a science magnet program? 
  • What mindset characteristics and thinking skills are needed to lead highly technical business initiatives?
  • Why do people often prefer to avoid a problem, even when they know they will suffer if no solution is found?
  • How can we use critical thinking test scores to empower and encourage more female and minority children to go into STEM programs?
  • How can we train emergency first responders to identify and solve new problems creatively and safely, using well-reasoned approaches?
  • What sort of training best prepares someone to come forward as a reliable and effective problem solver in dangerous, time-limited situations?
  • What is the relationship between people’s confidence in their critical thinking skills and their actual critical thinking skills?  Is the difference, if any, less or more depending on factors such as sex, age, professional field, educational level, discipline, work experience?
  • How can we resist the temptation to ‘shoot-from-the-hip’ instead of being more thoughtful when an emotionally charged decision must be made?
  • What should leaders in the military do to improve group thinking in field operations? 
  • What is the most common source of faulty human decision making and how can they be anticipated and avoided?
Many projects using Insight Assessment instruments to evaluate critical thinking skills and mindset attributes have been awarded funding by major governmental agencies which evaluate highly competitive research grants. In the United States these include the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.  

The Insight Assessment team is proud of our contribution to research studies of human reasoning and decision making.  Insight Assessment has a track record of 30 successful years of supporting higher education in the US and worldwide. We are committed to offering researchers, doctoral students and community service agencies reduced pricing through our internal grant program. Insight Assessment has a track record of 30 successful years of supporting higher education in the US and worldwide.We provide  instruments specifically designed for the objective measurement of critical thinking skills and mindset habits of mind of adults and children.   Insight Assessment solutions include:

Contact us today to discuss your own critical thinking research project.

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