In some cases, critical thinking is deemed as important as breathing. Like in an interview or maybe when you are taking a test, but not always. Remember when they asked you what you wanted to be and you automatically replied, “I want to be a journalist when I grow up.” But then you really did grow up and all the innocence and positive outlook was destroyed when the realities and practicalities of life came crashing down on you.
Critical thinking is the killer of dreams. One minute you will be dreaming about being the greatest artist of all times, and when you start to analyze it critically, you will notice the huge, gaping holes in that plan of yours. You will start to have second thoughts and will be confronted with countless dilemmas. Will you have to move to another city for that? Do you have an aptitude for becoming an artist? Are you competitive enough? The list goes on and on.
You might be proud of your ability to think critically at every turn, but here are some ways it can be more harmful than you think.
1. Your Peers’ Jokes Are Not Funny Anymore
Hanging out with your friends can be a surreal experience. But when you analyze everything, their jokes suddenly don’t make any sense to you and neither are they funny anymore. How many times have you rolled your eyes at them because whenever you hear one of their repetitive jokes, you automatically think “amateur hour!” and when they expect you to laugh, you
2. You Think about Gender Equality too Much
When your girlfriend/boyfriend is gushing about that awesome invite you got to an upcoming party and you think about gender equality. A little bit different ideas, don’t you think?
3. You Feel Shame When Your Group Mates Speak
And when they are unable to communicate their ideas in a decent and intellectual way, like you would have done, you feel sorry for your group mates and secretly feel ashamed that you are thinking about them that way and you are like.
4. You Are Alone with Your Books
Not only you like books that your friends would totally hate, but you can’t discuss the finer points in the plot with them, because they are probably going to think you have gone crazy. And they look at you like
5. Your Only Adequate Companion Is You
It is hard to admit but you can speak on truly interesting matters only with … yourself. Who can talk about the biocultural approach to the climate change? Who knows why it is important to support solar energy? Who defends Severus Snape because he did everything to save Harry? Right, only you.
Well, all in all, critical thinking has its uses and in some cases it is quite beneficial (think about Sherlock Holmes guys!), but most of the time it’s going to leach the fun out of everything and exasperate your friends around you.
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- raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely;
- gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards;
- thinks open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences; and
- communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems.
Critical thinking is, in short, self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities and a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.
(Taken from Richard Paul and Linda Elder, The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, Foundation for Critical Thinking Press, 2008)