Critical Thinking Defined
Critical thinking means making reasoned judgments that are logical and well-thought out. It is a way of thinking in which you don't simply accept all arguments and conclusions you are exposed to but rather have an attitude involving questioning such arguments and conclusions. It requires wanting to see what evidence is involved to support a particular argument or conclusion. People who use critical thinking are the ones who say things such as, 'How do you know that? Is this conclusion based on evidence or gut feelings?' and 'Are there alternative possibilities when given new pieces of information?'
Additionally, critical thinking can be divided into the following three core skills: curiosity, skepticism, and humility.
1. Curiosity is the desire to learn more information and seek evidence as well as being open to new ideas.
2. Skepticism involves having a healthy questioning attitude about new information that you are exposed to and not blindly believing everything everyone tells you.
3. Finally, humility is the ability to admit that your opinions and ideas are wrong when faced with new convincing evidence that states otherwise.
Using Critical Thinking Skills
Many people decide to make changes in their daily lives based on anecdotes, or stories from one person's experience. For example, let's say that your aunt told you that she takes a vitamin C supplement every day. Additionally, she told you that one morning she was running late for work and forgot to take her vitamin C supplement. That afternoon, she developed a cold. She now insists that you take vitamin C every day or you will get sick, just like she did in her story. Many people hearing this story would just accept this and think, 'To avoid getting sick I should take vitamin C.'
Although this type of logic is very common, it lacks critical-thinking skills. If we examine this anecdote a little more carefully, you should be able to understand why. For starters, we don't know where the idea for vitamin C stopping illness even came from. Why did your aunt decide to take vitamin C rather than vitamin D, or any other vitamin?
Also, there was never any indication given that there exists a direct link between not taking vitamin C and developing a cold. At first glance, it may seem that way. However, there could be many other variables involved that have nothing to do with vitamin C. Maybe she was already developing a cold and that particular day it just happened to manifest itself. Maybe a sick person sneezed on her in the elevator that morning. Any number of possibilities could have happened, and from just this story, we simply do not have enough information. All of this speculation as to the validity of this particular observation is considered skepticism.
Let's say that these thoughts of skepticism inspired your curiosity. After all, it wouldn't be fair to simply dismiss all new ideas, either. As a result, you looked up articles on the relationship between vitamin C and cold prevention. After reading several reports, you've found that scientific studies on whether vitamin C prevents the common cold have been conducted, and the results have been inconsistent. The overall conclusion found from these studies is that vitamin C is necessary for maintaining overall body function, but cannot be held responsible for preventing people from getting any colds or treating a cold once someone already has one.
After your investigative reporting, you decide to show your aunt that her beliefs on vitamin C are erroneous by presenting the results of your research. If your aunt is like most people, she will hear this scientifically-valid evidence and still insist that her idea about cold prevention through vitamin C is correct based on her personal experience. Part of critical thinking is demonstrating humility, and many people (in this case, your aunt) have trouble doing this. However, a big part of science is testing ideas and finding out that some ideas were not right. This is good because it allows us to tweak these ideas and test out other ones to get closer to finding out the right way the world works.
Critical thinking is making informed decisions based on logic. It requires you to question and investigate the validity of new information instead of just blindly believing everything you hear.
The three main skills involved in critical thinking are curiosity (desire or passion to learn new information and being open to new ideas), skepticism (questioning new information rather than just blindly believing it), and humility (the ability to change your ideas when logically proven that you are wrong). If you use critical thinking, you will be able to make better decisions and be less gullible.
Personal power is more of an attitude or state of mind than an attempt to maneuver or control others. It is based on competence, vision, positive personal qualities, and service. When externalized it is likely to be more generous, creative and humane than other forms of power.
Personal power is based on strength, confidence, and competence that individuals gradually acquire in the course of their development. It is self-assertion, and a natural, healthy striving for love, satisfaction, and meaning in one's interpersonal world. This type of power represents a movement toward self-realization and transcendent goals in life; its primary aim is mastery of self, not others.
Personal power is the ability to influence people and events with or without formal authority. It's more of a person's attitude or state of mind rather than an attempt to maneuver or control others. There is a multitude of personal powers in each individual.
Example of personal power can be in the way a person smiles, walks, talks, or even his or her appearance. Other attributes, qualities, or talents whether physical or mental constitute tremendous sources of personal powers too.
Sajora training not only help the student identify them, but also enhance them and apply them effectively.