What is Critical Thinking?

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Critical thinking can be described as the ability to think systematically, clearly, logically, and reasonably when making decisions. Individuals develop their critical thinking skills throughout life, and use past experiences and knowledge to help guide the way in which they make decisions. This type of thinking allows for a more intelligent approach to a situation or problem, and allows a person to assess the data, observations, and evidence at hand to help guide them in reaching decisions. Critical thinking skills are essential in the workplace because solutions to problems are solved more easily when the people involved make decisions based on rational thought, rather than emotion and limited viewpoints. When emotions are decreased as a result of effective critical thinking, decisions can be made more ethically and responsibly. “We respond emotionally and may engage in ego-defense mechanisms, self-serving biases, and other distortions to ensure ourselves that what we identify with—that is, what we think we are—is good” (Kirby & Goodpaster, 2007). Many times, an individual’s thinking gets clouded by biased opinions and negative thinking. Allowing critical thinking processes into one’s mind will help a person to react to situations in a way that is more reasonable, fair, and impartial. Eliminating this type of negative thinking also helps improve work processes because eliminating biases and breaking barriers will help a company to be more productive. Critical thinkers can improve teamwork by discovering more meaning in their interactions with those who they work with. People can improve the way they work with others as they are able to accept other viewpoints other than their own, and by possessing a less self-centered view of life. At the University of Phoenix where I am employed, critical thinking is a continuous process as I accomplish the tasks of my workday. My job involves working with enrollment, academic, and finance counselors to help admit and...
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