Humans are predisposed to reactions and deriving conclusions based on personal opinion. In the larger society, these responses often meet a deadlock, since most people hold different views that conflict with others.
So, how can one get rid of emotional responses to situations? The answer is critical thinking.
An individual’s ability to properly analyze a subject or situation based on verifiable facts, devoid of emotion or personal bias is critical thinking. It can also be described as an individual’s ability to come to a logical conclusion through proper communication, verification, and rationalization of multiple viewpoints.
Not only is critical thinking necessary in life, but it is also integral to academic writing and eventual success in college.
Let’s take a look at how you can boost your critical thinking skills to help you come up with better arguments.
1️⃣ Learn how to criticize yourself
Self-criticism is an essential part of developing critical thinking skills. Reflecting on your ideas and arguments will give you a better insight into eliminating emotion.
Check this out: if you can go through your essay and successfully point out the flaws, it creates a ‘detachment’ from the piece itself. What matters is the final result, not the effort and motivation behind the essay’s composition.
2️⃣ Analyze information carefully
To be fair, emotions play a significant role in how we process information. When you feel attacked, the brain automatically goes into ‘defense mode’. But if you learn to evaluate the information on their merits, you can develop a better understanding of the issue.
3️⃣ Let logic prevail over emotions
When you retort to any criticism addressed towards you with verbal aggression, it shuts down any possibility of learning from the experience. To think critically, you need to condition your brain to prepare a ’soft-landing’ for incoming criticism. This realization will help develop your mindset for a more level-headed approach to solving a problem or analyzing an issue.
4️⃣ The power of foresight
Does this mean that you have to see the future? Absolutely not! When you can assess every argument without bias, you will gain the ability to correlate between different topics that fall under the same umbrella. For example, taking a second to evaluate the level of crime in your neighborhood will help to determine if it is a suitable locale for a growing business.
5️⃣Take a walk in your neighbor’s shoes.
The world always looks great from where we stand.
One can develop critical thinking skills by exploring an issue from the opposing POV. This method of exploring a topic is standard in debates, where both sides present different perspectives on a problem. Don’t limit yourself to one side of the story if you want to improve your ability to analyze problems critically.
6️⃣ Ask for feedback
Oh, the dreaded feedback!
We often shy away from feedback on our work because we hate facing our flaws. In reality, your ability to accept and process criticism will make you better at your craft. If not, you will continue making the same mistakes under the false security of your fragile sense of self-preservation. Step out of your comfort zone to acquire invaluable critical thinking skills that will help you in life. Always remember, the feedback is related to your work, not your personality.
7️⃣ Stand up for your ideas
A wise man once said:
“Say what you mean and mean what you say …. Say it knowing that one day you be called upon to defend it.”
Whenever you have an opinion on a subject, work towards finding supporting facts and evidence to bolster your position. Go through every possible counterargument and come up with rebuttals. In the process, you will improve your critical thinking abilities inadvertently.
To sum up, developing critical thinking skills is essential to your academic, professional, and personal life. Dedicate some time to work on eliminating emotions and personal bias when analyzing any issue.
Let logic guide your decisions!
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