People are endowed with numerous levels of thinking. For example, when it comes to breathing, swallowing, smelling, blinking, walking, and so on, people do not think before doing any of the aforementioned things. On the other hand, some other actions require deeper thinking: whether products are edible or not, which of them are tasty for us and which are not, what clothes are more suitable for a formal business meeting, etc. Moreover, people have even higher levels of thinking, which comprise their critical and evaluative abilities. According to researchers, critical thinking is more of an acquired skill rather than an inborn characteristic and it is more of a self-regulatory judgment.
It is crucial for people to be able to make proper decisions quickly, especially in some stressful situations, and usually, when people have to make such decisions, they use their critical thinking. The time spent on making a specific decision depends on the complexity of the situation. For example, we can analyze the following situations and classify the complexity of decisions from the least complex to the most complex:
- Decide what to cook for breakfast (the least complex);
- Decide what to wear for the meeting;
- Decide whether to go on a trip abroad;
- Decide whether to change your current job position (the most complex).
In my opinion, one of other examples of a situation, where I have to apply my critical thinking skills, is when I read information from the Internet (or specifically browse for a particular kind of information). When browsing the Internet, we are constantly bombarded with a lot of false, incomplete, obsolete, or unproved information and especially some doubtful facts. Therefore, to perceive properly the information that I read, I have to analyze it and decide for myself which information I should put in question, which information is useful for me, etc. In the age of information technology, it is strongly recommended to look only for credible and verified data. If we do not think critically and do not reasonably evaluate everything we read, then we may get a distorted view of some situations presented on the Internet.
As you have probably noticed, when you search for the description of a particular event on the web, you get numerous results. Many of those articles may contradict each other. So, what to do in such a situation? Simply write “critical thinking” and the first results will show you how the issue is addressed from different perspectives and by using different sources. In this way, you will get a more complete picture of how a particular situation is viewed.
To sum up, critical thinking is vital in everyday life. People live in the era of the Internet and they are surrounded with biased, unverified, unreliable, and false information they read on it. Therefore, one must always apply reasoning to evaluate and question every item of information he/she reads, and filter the information that is perceived on a daily basis.
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