Critical thinking is an important skill for anyone seeking to make a positive impact in the world. This article will be looking at 5 skills that can help you become a genius thinker.
The first step in understanding these skills is understanding just what critical thinking is. Critical thinking can be described as “the reflective and logical examination of arguments, claims, and statements with the goal of evaluating their truthfulness and accuracy”.
Just to clarify, critical thinking is not just the simple act of arguing with people you disagree with. It’s about gaining a higher level of understanding about how to best support your own views, while also being able to see where additional perspectives might be useful in advancing our world.
Critical thinking is not an easy skill to learn, and it will certainly take some time before you’re able to apply it in an effective way. But the good news is that it can be learned, and once learned, can help you make many more intelligent decisions in your life.
Critical thinking isn’t essential to becoming a genius thinker, but it does take some time to get used to. It doesn’t hurt to try applying critical thinking whenever you’re faced with a difficult decision though.
The 5 critical thinking skills are:
A great way to improve your critical thinking skills is to adopt a more analytical approach to life. Instead of just accepting things as they are, think critically about everything you see.
It’s not easy for most people to think analytically, but it can be learned and developed over time with practice and effort. Try looking at the subject from different perspectives (one-sided and two-sided), and try formulating arguments for and against different alternatives.
Integrity is one of the most important character traits you can develop in your life. When combined with critical thinking, integrity makes for better decision making because you’ll be driven by your personal values instead of external pressures or impulses.
This skill isn’t really that hard though, since having integrity basically means acting in accordance with strong morals and ethics. Learn to act in accordance with your core values, and you’ll also be improving the quality of your critical thinking skills because you won’t be blinded by external things.
3. Logical Thinking
Logical thinking separates what is true from what is false, making it important for the critical thinker. While many people will say that logic is not very important, I disagree strongly. Logic plays an incredibly important role in critical thinking because it allows you to pinpoint the flaws in arguments and proposals. It helps you identify logical fallacies so that you can avoid them yourself.
The more you practice your logical thinking skills, the more adept you’ll become at identifying logical fallacies in yourself and others.
Empathy is the ability to understand other people’s perspectives. You can think of it as “Serendipity” in the movie ‘Good Will Hunting’. It’s about being able to see things from other people’s points of view, which can help you make better decisions in your life.
By developing your empathy, you’re able to consider additional perspectives that were previously disregarded or unavailable. You also able to identify external factors that might be influencing the way people think, allowing you to see both sides of the story better.
Evaluation refers to the ability to compare and contrast different alternatives. It’s about being able to see where existing things could be improved, and how they might be used in new ways. It’s about critically thinking about everything.
You should never accept or rely on something as good enough for you. Always challenge and question the things around you so that you can learn to see where alternatives might be better. It can take some time, but once developed, this skill will help you improve any situation you’re in.
Understanding how your biases affect your critical thinking
Remaining impartial during critical thinking can be one of the most difficult parts. But in order to really understand how it works, you need to understand the many biases that affect your critical thinking skills.
There are many cognitive biases that can potentially affect your decision-making skills. It’s impossible to be completely free of biases, but the more you learn about them, the better you’ll be able to cope with their effects on your critical thinking skills.
Here are some of the cognitive biases that may affect your critical thinking:
According to Wikipedia: Confirmation bias “is a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses”. That means that if you’re making a decision, and you’re presented with contradictory evidence, you’re likely to take it as proof of your initial hypothesis and ignore the contradictory evidence.
The bandwagon effect occurs when we tend to go along with the crowd in order to avoid being perceived as different. When you’re part of a group that wants or desires something, you’re more likely to get that thing yourself.
But just because others are doing something doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. For example, you might see lots of people buying iPhones, so it seems like the right decision for you too. But just because everyone else is doing something doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing for you. Be sure to think critically about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
You might be familiar with cognitive dissonance because it drives so much of our lives. It’s the feeling that arises when your beliefs or behaviors are in conflict with your other beliefs or behaviors. For example, if you’re an atheist but you commit immoral behavior, you might feel uncomfortable because your behavior is at odds with your belief system. Or if you’re an entrepreneur but you’re lazy, you might feel deeply uncomfortable because there’s an obvious internal conflict between two parts of yourself.
Hindsight bias refers to our tendency to think that we would’ve been able to change the past if we had known it in advance. By thinking like this, we might convince ourselves that we would’ve made better decisions if we had only known in advance what was going to happen. Hindsight bias is a pretty common human behavior and can lead us astray when it comes to critical thinking.
The three-step process for critical thinking
Decision making can be difficult, even when you’re using your critical thinking skills. There are so many factors to take into consideration before you act, which makes it hard to know how to act sometimes. That’s why following a three-step process for decision making can be helpful. It helps break down the process of decision making into smaller chunks that are easier to deal with mentally.
The process I’m talking about is called the Plan-Study-Reflect three-step process, which was originally created by Asch (1951). It’s a popular technique because it helps you make more accurate decisions. You can use this technique to decide on any topic you want, including critical thinking. Here’s how you can do it:
- Plan: Before you start thinking or doing anything, take 5 minutes to think through your current situation and your goals.
- Study: After you’ve thought for 5 minutes, take 15 minutes to review your plans and goals. What are they? What are the pros and cons of your current situation? How do they relate to your goals?
- Reflect: After you’ve done some studying, go back over what you’ve learned about your situation and the goals that you’re trying to achieve. Take about another 5 minutes to think about your situation again. Do you have any new ideas? What are you going to do?
This technique should help you make better decisions by helping you become more aware of your situation, goals, and available options. It’s not perfect, but it can be helpful when combined with critical thinking.
Exercises to train your critical thinking skills
There are lots of exercises you can do to train your critical thinking skills. Some of them are more useful than others, so it’s worth figuring out what works for you. Here are some exercises I recommend you try:
1) Neural network training: Adversarial Training is an AI technique that “increases the threshold for adversarial examples.” It will help you become better at recognizing biased messages. This technique actually works on the human brain in the same way that AI algorithms work on computers. It’s also pretty cool!
2) Stories & Analogies: Stories and analogies are great techniques for learning to understand what biases are. They’re great because they’re easy to identify and explain, so you can explain how they work in an attempt to teach them to others. There are two ways of thinking when reading stories and analogies. You can either think about them in terms of what they mean (surface thinking), or you can think about what they mean in terms of how they were created (deep thinking). It’s important to learn to identify and distinguish between the two ways of thinking.
3) Reverse-Engineer Books: This technique works best when you’re reading a book that you’ve already read, but it can be fun to try out on other books too. With this exercise, you’ll read a book and try to figure out what the author’s worldview is. Then you’ll read the book again, but this time you’ll try to hold your own worldview up to the author’s ideas and see if any of their arguments work for you.
4) Ask “what if?” questions: Asking “what if?” questions can be a fun way of learning to think critically about your situation. The idea behind this exercise is that you think about what might happen if each of your assumptions comes true. For example, what would happen if I failed my English exam? What would happen if I got stabbed on my way home? What’s the worst that could happen? You don’t always need to think about the worst-case scenario (though that can be helpful sometimes) – whatever you happen to think about is fine. This can be an exercise of both deep and surface thinking.
Critical thinking is a skill we should all work on. It’s difficult, but it’s totally worth it. Understanding these 5 skills will help you gain the clarity you need in order to make good decisions for yourself and others.
Once you know what critical thinking is, I hope that this guide will be useful for you. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.