Thinking is a purposeful mental activity—you control it…
Thinking is a two-sided activity—first you produce ideas and then you evaluate them…
Producing ideas widens your focus (resist the temptation to settle for a few familiar ideas).
Evaluating narrows your focus. Sort the ideas, identify the most reasonable ones.
Why critical thinking is important
Success in work depends on thinking skills.
It isn’t enough to possess knowledge but you must be able to apply information to your job.
Critical thinking is a reliable way of searching for the truth.
Facts and Opinions
Facts are realities; opinions are beliefs or judgments.
Opinions may fit the facts or be in error. Even the greatest experts sometimes hold incorrect opinions.
That is why research is so important in every subject area—it confirms some opinions and disproves others.
Critical thinkers realize how easy it is to be mistaken so they form their opinions with care.
They revise their opinions, even cherished ones, whenever they prove to be in error.
There is no shame in being wrong, but problems occur when we stubbornly cling to a mistaken view.
Recognizing facts & opinions
Fact: Babe Ruth was a famous baseball player.
Opinion: Smoking should be banned in all public places.
Fact: Camel’s hair brushes are made of Siberian squirrel fir.
Opinion: Eyewitness testimony is generally unreliable.
Separating facts & opinions 1)
If you state a fact that is not common knowledge, or that can’t be easily verified, briefly state where you got your information. If you state an opinion—a view others might disagree with, include answers to questions others might ask.
If you are not sure whether a statement is a fact or an opinion, treat it as an opinion.
Opinion versus personal preference…
Often confusing to many people.
Example: “Comic books are as instructive about life as novels are.”
When asked what