The capacity for critical thinking varies significantly from one person to another but it can be increased through effort and education.
The first area to explore is our own cognitive processes to understand the ways in which we tend to err.
The Foundation for Critical Thinking offers suggestions for improving our capacity through questioning, probing into: Critical thinking is sometimes contrasted with creative thinking, which involves openness, curiosity, imagination and innovation.
The two modes of thought are complementary rather than conflicting, however, and both are important in a business environment.
Political and business leaders endorse its importance.
Concepts Of Critical Thinking
For details on this history, see the Supplement on History.
Glaser (1941) showed experimentally that it was possible to improve the critical thinking of high school students.
Bloom’s influential taxonomy of cognitive educational objectives (Bloom et al. Ennis (1962) proposed 12 aspects of critical thinking as a basis for research on the teaching and evaluation of critical thinking ability.
The Socratic method of teaching involves providing students with questions and subjecting all answers to a rigorous process involving further questions designed to test the validity of those answers.
The Socratic method is still considered a powerful tool for fostering the capacity for critical thinking.