“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:
- try these sample critical thinking skills questions and sample items for measuring thinking attributes
- 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”.