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                         Critical Thinking

           Critical thinking is an important concept.   It is an
important concept in education, as well as in everyday life.  
Thus, it is important to define critical thinking.  What is
critical thinking?   Below is one definition of critical
thinking.  

Critical Thinking Definition:

       What is critical thinking?   There may be many possible
ways to define critical thinking.  Different critical thinking
articles may have different definitions of critical thinking.   
Nonetheless, in general, critical thinking involves analyzing
assumptions.

Critical thinking can be defined as the process of thinking
of possible explanations for outcomes and findings, and
determining how compatible the possible explanations are
with the outcomes and findings.

Thinking Like a Scientist

         A person who demonstrates significant critical
thinking is  thinking like a scientist.  If you are a scientist,
you evaluate ideas and findings based on the evidence.  You
will ask a number of questions concerning the ideas.   What
is the evidence supporting the idea?  How well does the
evidence support the idea?  What are the limitations of the
ideas?  You will also ask several questions when learning
about a research finding.  Are there alternative explanations
for the finding?  What are the weaknesses of the
methodology? What are the limitations of the findings?

Critical Thinking Examples:

        What are some examples of critical thinking?   If you
learn that a supervisor's use of humor is correlated with how
much an employee likes his or her job, you would think of
more than one explanation for this finding.  Moreover, you
would conclude that you cannot make causal conclusions
from this finding because you are not able to rule out
alternative explanations.    
       Another example of critical thinking is the conclusion
that some findings from laboratory research may not
generalize to real-world situations.  You would think of
reasons why the findings would not generalize to real-world
situations.