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Have you exercised your thinking today

“Exercising our critical thinking helps our minds become stronger, healthier, and more youthful. Our approach, proven successful by us and by others, is simple, practical, and focused. To strengthen critical thinking skills, we have to use them. To build positive critical thinking habits of mind, we have to see critical thinking as the optimal approach for solving real-world problems and making important decisions.

 “We all may have different beliefs, values, perspectives, and experiences influencing our problem solving and decision making. But we share the human capacity to be reflective, analytical, open-minded, and systematic about thinking through our problems and choices, so that we can make the best judgments possible about what to believe or what to do. That process of well-reasoned, reflective judgment is critical thinking.”

 “What more could we wish for one another than we all should seek to know the truth, walk in the light of well-trained reason, be courageous, have the intellectual integrity to stand strong, and that, no matter what our chronological age, that we should stay mentally forever young?”

                    Excerpted from the Preface to Think Critically , 2016, Facione & Gittens. Pearson Publishing

How can I improve my thinking abilities?

We all know people who are committed to rigorous regimens of exercise, diet and training programs. These individuals know their body will be stronger with exercise.   But how many of us know someone who takes a disciplined approach to improving their thinking skills and habits of mind? Yet like our muscles, our brain gets stronger with practice. Research shows that your brain grows stronger when you give it a workout by studying new information, learning new skills or reflecting on new experiences.

If you want to practice your skills or see the types of questions that might appear on a critical thinking test:

  • download the Insight Assessment app, Critical Thinking Insight . The comprehensive in app purchasable personal assessments deliver scores and individual analysis on key elements of your thinking. Specific suggestions for improvement help you interpret your scores and grow even stronger in each area covered by the personal assessment. These personal assessments are based on the employment and educational test instruments Insight Assessment provides to business, health care agencies, colleges & high schools around the world.
  • to gain an overview of critical thinking and how the skills and habits of mind go together in problem solving and decision making, we suggest the essay Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts”.   

Get your week off to a good start. Use your critical thinking skills; exercise them every day.

INSIGHT: customer service

Do you need to attract and retain new customers to your business? Are you looking for ways to make your brand stand out? Are your staff an asset or liability?

Are your employees making sure the business provides quality customer service?  Do you hire people who are focused on meeting customer needs? If not, you can’t expect to define a brand positively or plan on attracting new customers.

Prescreening employees with INSIGHT Business Staff enables you to identify employees who have the thinking skills and mindset to:

  • anticipate customer needs--from refilling water glasses to guiding product selection
  • analyze key elements of unexpected customer issues, evaluate options and problem solve creatively
  • learn about and understand products, policies and responsibilities
  • focus on the customer rather than on themselves or co-workers
  • be motivated to accomplish tasks
  • have the positive work ethic  to be welcoming, helpful and engaged with customers
  • be honest, dependable and committed to delivering quality service  
  • be able to work with numbers

It is possible to objectively measure these skills and mindsets using validated INSIGHT Business Staff online assessments. Comprehensive individual reports provide scores on 15 core components of thinking well .  

Retail and service businesses require more than cheerful employees; your business grows when you hire people who can think well and have a strong motivated work ethic.  Join the increasing numbers of businesses that are using validated INSIGHT online assessments to gather reliable data to prescreen new employees. Staffing decisions are better when they are founded on the objective relevant data delivered by Insight Assessment.

Contact us. In one working day you can bring INSIGHT to every level of your organization.

CCTST  comparison percentiles

Insight Assessment tools provide the high quality, validated critical thinking metrics needed to support admissions, student retention and learning outcomes assessment.

If assessing critical thinking skills or mindset is on your “to do” list, Insight Assessment offers the full-service solution you need. We are the world’s leader in critical thinking assessment, providing the highest quality instrumentation , the data gathering systems, the scoring and statistical analyses, and the individual and group report generation necessary to help you do your job. 

Colleges and universities in every state of the nation and many countries around the world use Insight Assessment tools for:

Insight Assessment puts the controls in your hands:

To support your faculty and students we offer complimentary teaching and learning materials to all of our critical thinking assessment clients. You and your colleagues are welcome to review and download publications on critical thinking and assessment from our website. 

It's easy to receive a price quote: contact a customer service agent through our Contact Us Request below or call (650) 697-5628 to talk with a knowledgeable representative.

Insight Assessment: proven critical thinking assessment tools for higher education
Jobe candidates waiting in line for an interview

The decision is up to you; you need to hire or promote an employee. You’ve gone through all the vetting steps for this position: resumes sorted, interviews completed, background checks and references checked. Now you’ve narrowed it down to two candidates having similar experience:

  • Candidate A has a degree from an excellent university, made the Dean’s List, and has worked in the industry for four years at two jobs. Candidate A interviewed well and seemed enthusiastic.
  • Candidate B also has a degree from an excellent college, also made the Dean’s List, and has worked at a competitor for five years, getting a promotion after a year. Candidate B had good questions and interviewed well.

Which candidate do you pick? Why?
How confident are you about this decision?
     What if you’re wrong?

Wouldn’t it be great if you had objective metrics on their reasoning ability?
If you had both candidates take the INSIGHT Business Professional thinking skills assessment, you would receive individual reports describing the key judgment skills required at this level of responsibility and accountability.

  • At first glance you would see that Candidate A has a rating of Strong for Overall Reasoning Skills. Candidate B demonstrated Moderate Overall Reasoning Skills. You know that the Overall Reasoning Skills score reflects the big picture of how the candidate uses reasoning skills to analyze complex job-related situations to anticipate and solve problems to reach company goals. INSIGHT Business Professional provides objective metrics on five additional key elements of thinking strength  that you can use to compare candidates' skills.   

Now what do you think about your options? Are you ready to make a final decision?
How confident are you about this decision?
     Which candidate would fit best in the work culture and team you envision?
     Wouldn’t it be helpful to have even more objective data before you make your final choice?

Wouldn’t measurements of key professional mindset attributes be valuable?

INSIGHT Business Professional objectively assesses whether individuals are motivated to apply their knowledge experience and skills to meet company goals.

  • You would see that Candidate A has a scored well on components of work ethic such as job commitment, honesty, tolerance, resourcefulness and openness to change. Candidate B scored poorly on these important indicators of work success. The candidates were asked to react to typical on-the-job dilemmas; the Business Professional report shows individual results for ten  essential business mindset attributes . You know that the higher scores indicate someone who is more likely to desire to learn and to work and, most importantly, is motivated to apply their reasoning skills to job related decisions. These insights are invaluable.

Now which candidate do you choose?
And how confident are you NOW about your decision?

If you have to hire 10, 50 or 1,000 employees,  INSIGHT  will make your job easier—and lead to better hires—because you need validated objective data to interview, hire and promote the best thinkers  in the pool.

chrysanthemum window

Have you used your critical thinking skills today?  Strong thinking is the common denominator of success throughout the world. Here are 12 quotes to inspire the development of strong thinking skills and mindset.

  • It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle
  • "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."  James Thurber 
  • "The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” Albert Einstein
  • "Begin challenging your own assumptions.  Your assumptions are your windows on the world.  Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” Alan Alda
  • “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” Sherlock Holmes: The Boscombe Valley Mystery
  • "Few minds wear out; more rust out.” — Christian N. Bovee
  • “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” – Coco Chanel
  • There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them." Seth Godin
  • "A mind is like a parachute—it only works when it is open."  Frank Zappa
  • "A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes."  Mahatma Gandhi
  • “Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.” Brian Tracy
  • “The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.”  Christopher Hitchens

Exercise your thinking skills today: read this free download of  “Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts” and follow our blog, Thinking INSIGHT .

Are you looking for a good self-test of your thinking skills?   Download Critical Thinking Insight from your app store today.

Think for Success

You need to be sure your staff isn’t keeping your company from achieving your objectives.  Are they locked into fixed routines, plans and thought processes? Or do they have the problem solving skills and mental agility to identify opportunities for growth? If they don’t, you’re losing ground.

Business success is a moving target. The most successful businesses have to be at least one step ahead of their industry. They can't afford to stand still, waiting for the plan to produce projected results. They have to anticipate opportunities and always move forward.

As you consider resources needed to meet your commitments or objectives, you need to know that your employees can demonstrate a flexible mindset and strong problem solving skills. Flexibility is one of 15 decision skills and mindset attributes objectively assessed by INSIGHT Business Professional.

Our validated metrics identify individuals who demonstrate strength in the flexibility attribute. You’ll know who is:

  • motivated to stay ahead of changing needs
  • intellectually curious, eager to learn and apply new or different skills
  • willing to reassess & adapt plans to be responsive to changing workplace situations and demands
  • prepared to use core reasoning skills like problem analysis, evaluating alternatives, anticipate outcomes and identifying logical consequences of decisions

Comprehensive reports provide detailed analysis of individual strengths and weaknesses in the core components of strong decision making skills and mindset. INSIGHT Business Professional is an objective and reliable assessment tool that uses business contexts to challenge test takers to apply their critical thinking skills and habits of mind.

In your ongoing effort to respond to changes in market conditions and labor requirements, one thing never changes-- good thinkers are always in demand because they deliver results.   

Contact us to discover agile thinkers who won’t settle for the status quo because they are driven to succeed.

For more from our blog, Thinking Insight

Linking critical thinking assessment, accreditation and admissions

Every academic leader needs to know how the institution can use their impending regional accreditation to accomplish something meaningful. 

If we have to engage lots of people and sink hours and hours of work into the project, what can we get out of all that time and effort that will actually benefit our students and our institution?

To create a win-win-win opportunity, many institutions are linking institutional accreditation with learning outcomes assessment and admissions.

             Here’s how:

Collect and Use Learning Outcomes Assessment Data: 

  • Even before the self-study year is upon them, institutions begin by gathering objective baseline data on entering students’ critical thinking.
     
  • Whichever instrument is selected, that same tool is then used to gather exiting data, ideally longitudinally, on those same students.  But if matching pre-test with post-test is not possible, the next option is using cross-sectional data on the graduating students.  An optimal plan, if the timing permits, is to gather the post-test data in the year before the accreditation self-study will be started.   
  • Comparing entry pretest data with exit post-test data enables the institution to address the student outcomes assessment question in a meaningful way.  The reports generated by the Insight Assessment testing system enable faculty to readily identify which critical thinking skills and habits of mind are most in need of attention through curricular enhancement or stronger academic advising and retention related programming.

Link Pre-Test and Student Success Data to Admissions:

  • Insight Assessment report graphic showing pretest to posttest distribution of scores on a mindset scale
    Retention and graduation rates soar when the students entering a program have the critical thinking skills to learn the material and, if necessary, to pass licensure exams.
  • Every academic Insight Assessment test instrument enables academic leaders in the Provost’s Office, Admissions Department, and Deans’ Offices to identify a relevant target overall critical thinking skills score or a set of critical thinking mindset scores against which to evaluate program applicants.
  • The scores on these instruments are provided as numerical / quantitative and as categorical / qualitative.  Along with other relevant considerations, selective admissions decisions can be better informed and an entry class or cohort can be constructed that has the optimal potential for program success.

Link Institutional Accreditation to Student Success:

  • These learning outcomes assessment findings, their interpretation and application then become a major substantive element in the institution’s accreditation self-study document.  That document shows how the institution identified critical thinking, a core learning outcome, measured it objectively with nationally benchmarked instruments, analyzed the results and used those findings to address any areas of curricular concern that may have emerged.
  • The research on student success is unambiguous when it comes to the link between critical thinking and learning.
Summing up – to get the most out of the time, money, and effort that is going to be spent on these essential institutional activities, link assessment, accreditation and selective admissions. 

And, of course, do so focusing on an essential learning outcome, namely critical thinking, and by using Insight Assessment’s premier academic testing instruments .

Contact us to get started.

Follow our blog, Thinking INSIGHT , for resources and further discussion of the measurement of thinking skills and mindset.

magnet high school science

As the school year begins, Insight Assessment salutes all teachers as they return to the classroom. Educators have one of the most important jobs in the world—preparing students with the knowledge, skills and motivation they will need to learn and to succeed. 

Good thinking is our strongest defense against ignorance and intolerance. Students possessing strength in critical thinking are better equipped to solve problems, to understand and to integrate content material, and to achieve in school. And that achievement prepares them for tomorrow.

The most successful teachers are those who both nurture and challenge thinking.  The more children are asked to exercise their core critical thinking skills, the stronger these skills become.

Every day good teachers create opportunities for their students to ask questions, analyze information and develop their skills.  Effective educators motivate students to solve problems thoughtfully and to evaluate new information and sources. To teach thinking, teachers work hard to model good thinking every day. They demand good thinking, test for good thinking and reward good thinking in their grading practices.

Everyone involved in delivering quality learning, from the instructor to the administrator, plays an essential part in the growth and success of the next generation.  Strong thinking is the common denominator of success throughout the world.   No society, local or global, can sustain itself and flourish without its members learning to think well together.

We urge everyone to take time to thank teachers for their year round enthusiasm and commitment to promoting thinking and learning.

Integrity is quote

We want to believe otherwise, but every new hire and employee is a security risk.

From simple misunderstanding and carelessness, to serious embezzlement and malfeasance, the costs of dishonesty mount quickly. Success requires extreme employee trust.

Objective assessment of the risks and potential of your work force makes good business sense.

You don’t have to wait for the next incident to impact your company bottom line and reputation. You need to be able to trust your employees. Verify your values using INSIGHT assessments to objectively measure Honesty and nine other mindset attributes that characterize good employees. All INSIGHT assessments provide detailed individual reports analyzing strengths and weaknesses on key mindset attributes as well as essential cognitive skills. 

Trustworthy individuals conduct themselves with integrity, honesty, ethics and truthfulness.

Honest workers demonstrate respect for property and rules. Honest communication is key to building a culture of trust.  Measuring honesty pays off for our clients:

  • Retailers reduce loss and liability by prescreening employees using INSIGHT Business Staff .
  • Hiring agencies prescreen the honesty and work ethic of candidates who will be working in unsupervised situations, especially where employees cannot be easily monitored.
  • Executive search firms use INSIGHT Executive to assess the integrity of high stakes decision makers who must model the highest standards.
  • Security firms reduce the risk candidates will not perform according to rules of conduct both on and off the job by including INSIGHT assessments as part of security clearances.
  • Home health care agencies gain the trust of customers by prioritizing the work ethic and dependability of their workers using INSIGHT Health Staff .
  • Financial firms depend on INSIGHT Business Professional to identify candidates who are trustworthy when handling money.
  • Trainers use group data to design effective professional development programs targeting areas needing improvement.
  • Human Resources departments integrate INSIGHT Development Program into their programs because it offers a suite of proven  online training modules focused on improving thinking skills and the personal attributes (like honesty and integrity) that support strength in decision-making.

Our customers rely on INSIGHT metrics for honesty. Now you can set standards for employees who must dependably base their decisions and actions on core values such as honesty, trustworthiness, commitment to company mission and respect.

Contact us. INSIGHT offers specialized instruments for our clients in business, healthcare, education, law and government. Each of our tools are available in multiple levels to target the skills required to be successful at specific levels of accountability. 

You need to be able to trust your employees. Gain a competitive edge by using our measurement tools.

Main Street

Businesses big or small must run lean and agile to succeed.  Every dollar invested must pay off by growing the market and profits. That’s why businesses think long and hard about the decision to allocate money for hiring new staff. A bad decision can damage a business and cripple a small company.

Hiring decisions are filled with risk. Each employee has to bring valuable skills and be self-motivated these days. They need to be good problem solvers, fast learners and responsible with a strong work ethic.  A bad investment in an employee who can’t or won’t produce results costs your business not just money but also the lost opportunities that could have been funded by those dollars.

INSIGHT Business Staff provides easy to use, cost effective, online employee assessments that take the risk out of hiring. Comprehensive individual reports objectively document candidate strengths and weaknesses in 15 essential workplace thinking skills and mindset attributes:

Big or small, join the increasing numbers of businesses that are using validated INSIGHT assessments to gather reliable data to prescreen new employees. Staffing decisions should be founded on objective relevant data delivered by Insight Assessment .

Contact us to get the metrics you need to identify the employees who will grow with your company. 

Good thinking is in demand. Download Critical Thinking Insight from your app store today:

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