Once we overcome our biases, we come to a very important realization: all information we receive is incomplete, one way or another. Imagine getting a report detailing a business transaction, or describing a particular procedure or an event. Never take it for granted! Who benefits and who suffers losses if the given situation is resolved in a particular way? Is there anything my source has left unsaid, and why? Asking these questions should help you determine all the hidden issues behind the data presented, and help you reach the decision which brings the best possible outcome.
Not all data you receive are equally important.
16 Characteristics of Critical Thinkers
When faced with a great number of reports to review, it might seem challenging to successfully sift through all of them efficiently. But in order to do that, you must determine which information is relevant for your needs, and which are not. Determining the relevance of a particular detail or information is one of the crucial elements of critical thinking. When tasked to examine a great deal of information for example, a number of business reports and determine their legitimacy, you will often receive them disorganized and out of order, especially if they are collected in a hurry, or in a highly stressful situation.
It is up to you to organize and analyze all this raw data, and offer logical and correct conclusions, and this is where inference is important. Not only are they good at reaching the right conclusions based on more or less raw data, but all good critical thinkers can infer all possible outcomes of taking particular actions based on the conclusions they offered. They know the difference between inference and assumption, and they rely on actual data, not on preconceived notions of the said data.
You may be wondering what compassion and empathy have to do with critical thinking and data analysis.
After all, we have already stated that our judgment must not be led by emotions and that all our conclusions must rational and logical. Having concern for the wellbeing of people around us is what makes us human. We are not robots who can view the word only as a source of cold, soulless scientific data to analyze and store. In a large number of situations, we must take into consideration the human factor of our decisions, for what we say and do, and the way we resolve conflict can affect people in a number of ways.
Always bear in mind that the consequences of your decisions can have serious consequences for some people, so consider your decisions and actions carefully!
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It is great having confidence in all your stronger qualities and talents, but humility teaches us to acknowledge our flaws as well. Critical thinkers are never satisfied with the current state of affairs as long as they see even the tiniest bit of a chance to change something for the better. Questioning the established order may seem radical, but that is what critical thinkers do: they find new and more effective and creative ways of solving a particular problem, or new ways to approach a particular topic, is their second nature.
To be able to see the bigger picture, one needs to have an open mind. That especially counts for critical thinkers. Common logical fallacies are errors occurring while judging a situation, reaching a conclusion, or presenting an argument in a discussion. They include, but are not at all limited to, the following errors:.
Many true critical thinkers are also creative thinkers as well. They refuse to rely solely on established ways of solving a particular issue — if there is an alternative, more creative and effective way of dealing with a particular situation, they would rather use that than the old patterns. They prefer thinking outside of the box; patterns only slow them down.
However, it must be mentioned that critical thinkers and creative thinkers are indeed separated by one specific detail. Creative thinking is connected to creating new ideas; critical thinking is connected to the analysis of both new and old ideas, and choosing the most effective ones. Thus, through critical thinking, we can discover new and inventive ideas and bring them to the fore. It is often the case that issues with communication stem from the inability of one of the participants of a discussion or all of them!
Since coherence is important for communication, we can rely upon critical thinking to relay our messages. Critical thinkers pay close attention to the thinking process of their interlocutors and observe just how logical or illogical, biased or unbiased their reasoning may be.
This is the way they differentiate important details from the trivial ones, picking out the facts while discarding all assumptions. Once all the facts are gathered, they reach a logical conclusion based upon it. Asking open-ended questions to examine a topic more deeply is a specialty of theirs. These are some of the essential skills necessary for you to become a successful critical thinker.
The best thing about critical thinking is the absolute versatility of this way of thinking. It can be applied in any and all segments of your personal and professional life, and it simply has no downsides to it. The health care is setting the priorities of the day to apply critical thinking Problem solving helps to acquire knowledge as nurse obtains information explaining the nature of the problem and recommends possible solutions which evaluate and select the application of the best without rejecting them in a possible appeal of the original.
Also, it approaches issues when solving problems that are often used is the empirical method, intuition, research process and the scientific method modified This method is mainly used in home care nursing interventions where they cannot function properly because of the tools and equipment that are incomplete Intuition is the perception and understanding of concepts without the conscious use of reasoning.
As a problem solving approach, as it is considered by many, is a form of guessing and therefore is characterized as an inappropriate basis for nursing decisions. But others see it as important and legitimate aspect of the crisis gained through knowledge and experience.
The clinical experience allows the practitioner to recognize items and standards and approach the right conclusions. Despite the fact that the intuitive method of solving problems is recognized as part of nursing practice, it is not recommended for beginners or students because the cognitive level and the clinical experience is incomplete and does not allow a valid decision The research method is a worded, rational and systematic approach to problem solving. Health professionals working in uncontrolled situations need to implement a modified approach of the scientific method of problem solving.
With critical thinking being important in all processes of problem solving, the nurse considers all possible solutions and decides on the choice of the most appropriate solution for each case The decision is the selection of appropriate actions to fulfill the desired objective through critical thinking.
Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking
Decisions should be taken when several exclusive options are available or when there is a choice of action or not. The nurse when facing multiple needs of patients, should set priorities and decide the order in which they help their patients. They should therefore: a examine the advantages and disadvantages of each option, b implement prioritization needs by Maslow, c assess what actions can be delegated to others, and d use any framework implementation priorities. Even nurses make decisions about their personal and professional lives.
Acquiring critical thinking and opinion is a question of practice. Critical thinking is not a phenomenon and we should all try to achieve some level of critical thinking to solve problems and make decisions successfully 19 - It is vital that the alteration of growing research or application of the Socratic Method or other technique since nurses revise the evaluation criteria of thinking and apply their own reasoning. So when they have knowledge of their own reasoning-as they apply critical thinking-they can detect syllogistic errors 22 — In responsible positions nurses should be especially aware of the climate of thought that is implemented and actively create an environment that stimulates and encourages diversity of opinion and research ideas The nurses will also be applied to investigate the views of people from different cultures, religions, social and economic levels, family structures and different ages.
National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Acta Inform Med v.
Acta Inform Med. Published online Aug Ioanna V. Papathanasiou , 1 Christos F. Kleisiaris , 2 Evangelos C. Fradelos , 3 Katerina Kakou , 1 and Lambrini Kourkouta 4.
Christos F. Evangelos C. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Corresponding author: Ioanna V. Assistant Professor. Nursing Department. Technological Educational Institute of Thessaly, Greece. E-mail: rg. Received Jul 11; Accepted Aug This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.
This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Critical thinking is defined as the mental process of actively and skillfully perception, analysis, synthesis and evaluation of collected information through observation, experience and communication that leads to a decision for action. Keywords: critical thinking, nursing education, clinical nurse education, clinical nursing practice.
Independence of Thought Individuals who apply critical thinking as they mature acquire knowledge and experiences and examine their beliefs under new evidence. Impartiality Those who apply critical thinking are independent in different ways, based on evidence and not panic or personal and group biases. Perspicacity into Personal and Social Factors Those who are using critical thinking and accept the possibility that their personal prejudices, social pressures and habits could affect their judgment greatly. Humble Cerebration and Deferral Crisis Humble intellect means to have someone aware of the limits of his own knowledge.
Spiritual Courage The values and beliefs are not always obtained by rationality, meaning opinions that have been researched and proven that are supported by reasons and information. Integrity Use of critical thinking to mentally intact individuals question their knowledge and beliefs quickly and thoroughly and cause the knowledge of others so that they are willing to admit and appreciate inconsistencies of both their own beliefs and the beliefs of the others. Perseverance The perseverance shown by nurses in exploring effective solutions for patient problems and nursing each determination helps to clarify concepts and to distinguish related issues despite the difficulties and failures.
Critical and Creative Thinking
Confidence in the Justification According to critical thinking through well motivated reasoning leads to reliable conclusions. Interesting Thoughts and Feelings for Research Nurses need to recognize, examine and inspect or modify the emotions involved with critical thinking. Curiosity The internal debate, that has constantly in mind that the use of critical thinking is full of questions. Problem Solving Problem solving helps to acquire knowledge as nurse obtains information explaining the nature of the problem and recommends possible solutions which evaluate and select the application of the best without rejecting them in a possible appeal of the original.
Experiential Method This method is mainly used in home care nursing interventions where they cannot function properly because of the tools and equipment that are incomplete Intuition Intuition is the perception and understanding of concepts without the conscious use of reasoning.
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The Decision The decision is the selection of appropriate actions to fulfill the desired objective through critical thinking. The contribution of critical thinking in decision making Acquiring critical thinking and opinion is a question of practice. Scriven M, Paul R. Defining critical thinking.
A consensus statement on critical thinking in nursing.
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