Define Critical Thinking In Research

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Furthermore, the report stated that a good critical thinker demonstrates a series of dispositions which is required for the individual to utilise the aforementioned skills.

According to the report a ‘good critical thinker, is habitually disposed to engage in, and to encourage others to engage in, critical judgement’ (Facione, 1990, p. These dispositions were later categorised into inquisitiveness, open-mindedness, systematicity, analyticity, truth seeking, critical thinking self-confidence and maturity (Facione, 1990).

Halpern listed a series of skills and dispositions required for good critical thought.

Those skills are verbal reasoning, argument analysis, thinking as hypothesis testing, understanding and applying likelihood, uncertainty and probability, decision making and problem solving (Halpern, 1998).

The dispositions Halpern described are a willingness to engage and persist with complex tasks, habitually planning and resisting impulsive actions, flexibility or open-mindedness, a willingness to self-correct and abandon non-productive strategies and an awareness of the social context for thoughts to become actions (Halpern, 1998).

Glaser (1984) further elaborated on the awareness of context to suggest that critical thinking requires proficiency in metacognition.

Dressel and Mayhew (1954) suggested it is educationally useful to define critical thinking as the sum of specific behaviours which could be observed from student acts.

These critical thinking abilities are identifying central issues, recognising underlying assumptions, evaluating evidence or authority and drawing warranted conclusions.

A recent study commissioned by the Office of the Chief Scientist of Australia surveyed 1065 employers representing a range of industries (Prinsley and Baranyai, 2015).

Over 80% of respondents indicated critical thinking as ‘important’ or ‘very important’ as a skill or attribute in the workplace.


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