Critical thinking: skills and competencies

Many people have difficulty in logical and consistent reasoning. But it is very important to understand that reasoning skills, like any others, can and should be developed in oneself. Initially, for this, it is worthwhile to understand what critical thinking is in general, and begin to apply its techniques in practice. 

Critical thinking is a whole complex of fundamental skills, such as the ability to give assessments, make conclusions, interpret and analyze, observe, etc. In addition, critical thinking uses logic and is based on a series of criteria of intelligence: clarity, credibility, accuracy, depth, significance, horizons and justice. The constituent parts, albeit to a lesser extent, are also value attitudes and creative imagination. 

Speaking a little differently and simply, critical thinking can be characterized as cognitive activity associated with the use of reason and intellectual abilities. When a person thinks critically, evaluates and analyzes the data obtained, he uses attention, categorization, choice, judgment and other similar mental operations. The application of critical thinking makes a person a number of requirements. 

Considering critical thinking as a process of reflection, we can see that it requires a person to have a considerable amount of skills. These include: 

• Ability to determine the position of another person, his arguments and conclusions. 

• Ability to evaluate evidence of an alternative position. 

• Ability to impartially and objectively evaluate opposing arguments and testimonies. 

• Ability to identify false opposites, see pitfalls, read between the lines. 

• Ability to recognize the techniques used to give a particular position more attractive than others, for example, all kinds of methods of persuasion or false logic. 

• Ability to think in an organized way and complement the process of thinking with logic and insight. 

• Ability to determine the validity and validity of conclusions, guided by reasonable assumptions and solid evidence. 

• Ability to summarize information and combine judgments of evidence to form their own opinions. 

• Ability to present one’s point of view in a reasonable, organized and convincing way. 

In 1987, one of the best American educators, Robert Ennis, also managed to identify the abilities and attitudes associated with critical thinking. They are: 

• Scepticism about things. 

• Ability to reason. 

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