MEANING OF CRITICAL THINKING
Critical thinking is the ability to think through a situation correctly, assessing the advantages and disadvantages so as to be able to make appropriate decisions concerning one’s course of action.
We are confronted multiple and contradictory issues, messages, expectations and demands. We need therefore to be able to critically analyze situations and challenges and confront them. This involves weighing options and making rational decisions. It requires an inquisitive mind instead of accepting things at a face value
IMPORTANCE OF CRITICAL THINKING
- It is an important skill in assisting one to shape his reasoning.
- Helps one to express independent judgment in all issues.
- It requires that one take time to ask questions before taking action. It therefore helps one to avoid making rash decisions that we may end up regretting.
- It helps us address the root cause of a problem rather than just dealing with the symptoms.
- It helps us pick the most effective alternative after evaluating the others.
- It enables you to think of consequences of a given choice.
- It will help you avoid being influenced into irresponsible behavior because you will see negative consequences.
- Self awareness is made possible through critical thinking; you will know your strengths, weakness, and abilities.
SITUATION IN WHICH PEOPLE USE CRITICAL THINKING
- When doing an exam.
- Challenging friends and colleagues who are involved in actions that deviate from the norm for example drug abuse.
- Refusing to give up in challenging situation or when one needs a setback.
- Setting life goals and life dreams –critical thinking assists individuals to make out how they can achieve their goals.
- Challenging and exposing injustice in the society.
- Providing constructive criticism at all levels for example college level, community level.
- Going to a bar.
- Attending unruly parties.
- Getting involved in riots.
- Becoming drunk.
Dangers in such situations
- You can become reckless.
- Your reasoning ability is affected.
- We can engage in risk behavior for example the pre-marital sex which can lead to STI, HIV and AIDS, pregnancy, rape; you can injure yourself and other health problems.
WAYS OF EVALUATING IDEAS
- Weighing options objectively
- Making rational choices
Consequences of making decisions before thinking critically
- HIV infection
- Drug and substance abuse.
- Unplanned pregnancy.
- Early marriages.
VALUES ASSOCIATED WITH CRITICAL THINKING
- Freedom –It enables you freely to explore options. You also learn to think for yourself.
- Integrity – you make decision based on facts rather than personal preferences
- Simplicity – it makes your faces difficult situations with a simple mind.