Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Thinking, Critical Analysis, Education, Emotions, Knowledge, Decision, Decision Making, Skills

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/10/09

Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is an idea or concept that most individuals associate to learning and education. One may assume that it is an innate function of how individuals think, so some people will naturally be critical thinkers while others are not. Often society associates higher level of intelligence with an elevated level of critical thinking skills. In understanding the topic of critical thinking, several aspects of critical thinking are examined.

What does it mean?

Critical thinking is not a term that can easily be defined. The majority shares a generalized meaning of critical thinking as ability to process information and formulate questions based on one’s understanding. Several concepts of the theory were developed by educational philosophers with similarity in belief of the meaning of critical analysis (Mason, 2007). A unique interpretation of critical thinking posed by Jane Roland Martin connects the concept as being "motivated by and founded in moral perspective and values" (Mason, 2007). One can agree that the meaning of critical thinking is summed up as an ability to think at a higher and deeper level, requiring expertise in the knowledge of subject presented.

Steps towards Critical Thinking

As one discusses the concept of critical thinking, the name Benjamin Bloom is likely to be brought up. Bloom specialized in taxonomy and was responsible for creating a hierarchy of six steps of critical thinking. “Bloom's taxonomy includes six knowledge levels: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation” (Aviles, 2000, pg.2).
The first step, knowledge, is when one obtains information and understands what he or she has learned. Comprehension, the next phase, is when the knowledge is fully recognized enough to impart the material to another. The application phase of the critical thinking process involves a use of the knowledge in a way that incorporates into other areas that would not have been possible prior to the previous two steps. “Analysis requires examination of parts or elements of what was learned, analyzing the relationship between wholes and parts (e.g., conclusions and
evidence) or organizing knowledge based on some principle” (Aviles, 2000, pg. 13). When the facts can be used to create or produce an external (possibly tangible) project, synthesis is achieved. Lastly, evaluation is the point at which the individual has enough understanding of the topic that he or she can discuss the subject with confidence.

Emotions and Decision-Making

When individuals are experiencing intense emotion, whether good or bad, judgment and decision-making are influenced. One would say that decision-making declines when a person is highly emotional. A good example is if an individual got some very bad news regarding a loved one, he or she is in an unstable state of mind, which interupts ideal decision making. A multitude of behavior, from eating to purchasing a home, can be altered based on the emotional state of the individual. When emotions are stable, a person is likely to make wiser choices (Andrade & Ariely, 2009).

Influence of Critical Thinking in Life

Critical thinkers are usually individuals that tend to excel in life both professionally and privately. The reasoning behind this is evident as one looks at the process and benefits associated with critical thinking. When a person is skilled in critical thinking, he or she is more likely to make rational and reasonable judgments (Elder, 1996). The ability to control one’s self is superior in the critical thinker versus one who is reactive with no thought behind his or her actions. To conclude, one can gather that critical thinking skills are crucial to evolving and succeeding in life.


Andrade, E. B., & Ariely, D. (2009, May). The enduring impact of transient emotions on
decision making. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Making Process, 109(1), 1-8. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/science/article/pii/S0749597809000211
Aviles, C. B. (2000). Teaching and testing for critical thinking with Bloom's taxonomy of
educational objectives. , (), 1-27. ERIC.
Elder, L. (1996, Winter). Critical thinking and emotional intelligence. Inquiry:Critical Thinking
Across the Disciplines, 16(2), . Retrieved from http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/cognition-and-affect-critical-thinking-and-emotional-intelligence/485
Mason, M. (2007, August). Critical thinking and learning. Educational Philosophy and Theory,
39(4), 339-349. 360 Link.

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