Critical Thinking Cartoon
At the most simple level, critical thinking involves us in making a carefully considered evaluation or judgment about what we hear or see. For many people, this can just mean making a quick mental decision based on the presenting evidence within a relatively short time frame (or at least within a reasonable period in the busy life that most of us seem to lead today).
This approach to thinking about what we see or hear may work effectively much of the time, especially when the decision has minimal impact on our work or on our life in general. However, the regular use of a “lightly” examined or even an “unexamined” approach may lead to a complacent habit when we hear all arguments that are put to us. And if we are not careful, we may end up with the “unexamined life” that Socrates warned us against over 2500 years ago. In these circumstances, we may easily become hostage to other people’s interpretations of what we should do or how we should live, and we may come to not much like what they have chosen and even feel negatively impacted. For this reason alone, we may want to build our own critical thinking skills to a higher level and develop better and more evolved habits using different and deeper critical thinking approaches, no matter what the argument or the decision that needs to be made.