What is the purpose of critical thinking?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Critical thinking is a way of thinking about how you think.  It is a way of improving how you think and, thereby, improving the results of your thinking.  The main purpose of critical thinking is to make better decisions and to get the positive results that come from better decisions.

Critical thinking involves understanding how you think.  It involves making sure that you are considering all alternatives and are making a rational choice between those alternatives.  When you think critically, you avoid having a closed mind.  Instead, you think about all the possible choices.  You think about what the pros and cons of each choice are.  When you have people trying to persuade you that one or the other choice is better, you consider how much you should trust each source.  Finally, you make decisions based on a thought process and not a “gut reaction.”

The main purpose of critical thinking is to make better decisions.  If, for example, you are running a business and your business is having trouble, you need to think critically about what the problem is.  If you do not think critically, you will make a gut decision about how to fix your business and you may end up making it worse.  By thinking critically, you improve your chances of making the right decision.

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