Critical thinking requires you to think without bias or judgement. It is one of the two basic thinking skills, along with creative thinking. Critical thinking skills are first learned in grade school and become even more significant as you go through college and your career. It is a crucial element for solving problems and learning new skills.
Essentially, you have to think about thinking; imagine that. Critical thinking skills are divided into three categories: affective, cognitive strategies encompassing macro-abilities and cognitive strategies for micro-skills. If you want to understand and process information better, you will need to exercise these skills, and there are a variety of ways to do so.
You can stimulate your brain with brain teasers. To illustrate, here is a sample brain teaser you can use. Claudia, Dan, and Jose are in a race. Here are their results:
1.The eldest person received the most points.
2.Mark got one-third of the points of the youngest.
3.Jose received as many points as both others combined.
Who is the youngest? This particular brainteaser helps you to exercise your planning and reasoning skills. First, you need to read the statements, thoroughly. Then, you need to construct a plan in order to solve the problem. Your planning process takes place in your brain’s prefrontal cortex. This part of your brain also executes how you evaluate voluntary and goal-directed behavior. The Critical Thinking and Problem Solving course teaches you a lot about critical thinking, in addition to how to solve simple and complex problems.
One way to get your brain more involved in the critical thinking process is through open-ended questions. For instance, if someone asked you a “yes” or “no” question, there would not be much thinking involved. Furthermore, that person would be in control of the conversation, for the most part. However, open-ended questions require you to participate and come up with an unexpected answer that goes beyond only two selections.
Have someone ask you open-ended questions. Instead of asking “Do you like peanut butter?” the open-ended way to ask would be, “why do you like peanut butter?” Other illustrations of open-ended questions include, “What do you think will happen next in the story?” “How did you make that choice?” and “How would you know if your day was successful?” While you’re answering open-ended questions, check out this Udemy course, Develop your CRITICAL THINKING skills – easily!
These types of puzzles stem from the mathematics fields of deduction because they require deductive reasoning or use of the process of elimination. They teach logic, reasoning and organizational skills. The reason is that you have to concentrate on the details of the puzzle, in order to determine the solutions.
Logic puzzles are believed to help prevent memory loss and memory decline, as well. Popular logic puzzles include crossword puzzles, Sudoku, Pic-a-Pix and Hitori. Furthermore, the gains you receive from playing a logic puzzle can translate into your home and work life because these critical thinking exercises help you to tackle new ways of solving problems.
Reason with Your Values
There are facts and then, there are motivations, background and reasons for those facts. You can exert critical thinking by conveying why a particular statement is right or wrong, good or bad. Figure out how to pinpoint moral claims. A moral claim might state, “It was wrong of Jim to cancel the job” or “ABC offers better programming than CBS.” You can then train yourself how to explain why you think the statement is correct or incorrect in order to support its claims.
Another way to help improve your brain’s functions is through explaining objects or topics. You have to think outside the box to give an understandable explanation to another party. For example, how would you describe the view outside your window? In addition, you might attempt to describe a current event. For either option, start with facts then move on to using your personal beliefs.
Analyze Your Writing
When you create a piece of written work, go over it and figure out if you have any instances of critical thinking and logic infused in your paper. You might have included some moral statements or even an explanation of a scientific phenomenon where you presented the facts then combined your personal opinion. Having the ability to notice improvements in your thinking abilities will help you to create benchmarks of your progress. Verifiable measurements give you motivation to continue with your practice.
Critical thinking exercises also improve the development of your ability to control your emotions as well as how to use them to use them to your advantage. You can also use affective strategies to determine how you respond to others. It goes without saying that you don’t want to come across as a consistently hyper-emotional individual, especially in the workplace.
So, you can establish a sense of fair-mindedness, intellectual humility, self-awareness, courage and confidence. All of these traits are essential for attaining rewarding personal and working relationships.
Another benefit of improving your critical thinking skills is its affect on your macro-abilities. This revolves around your capacity to find data and then decide whether or not that information is valuable enough for your particular purpose.
Some of the processes applied towards your decision-making process include reading, discussing, evaluating and critical thinking. You can then use these competencies for writing, book reviews and solving problems. It also promotes your reasoning, theoretical and interpretive skills.
How you compare and contrast specific works of art, or science experiment results is a part of your cognitive skill set. This also deals with your general processing speed, memory and attention aptitude. Imagine how your life would be if you processed ideas with super speed and had enviable memory power? It would probably make your daily and long-term activities a lot easier. Critical thinking exercises also positively affect your cognitive skill set.
Putting it All Together
There are a variety of ways to improve your critical thinking processes using exercises and logic games. In addition, participating in the Learn the Skill of Effective Mind Mapping course helps you to improve your proficiency.
Moreover, courses like Learn like a Superhero, Think like a Supervillain, allows you to attain superhero brain potential. You can also read this blog, Higher Order Thinking Skills are Crucial for Business Success, to give you more reasons to exercise critical thinking.