How often do you hear the phrase, “Come down to earth and think critically”? Probably, it is common to hear from parents, teachers, professors and other adults who have already seen the world and can say that the process of thinking carefully about a subject or idea without allowing feelings or opinions to affect you is the best way to deal with this world. But is it always true? This article is aimed at giving the reasonable answer to this questions providing you with both advantages of critical thinking and its disadvantages. Be sure you’ll find the golden mean of how to use critical thinking skills in everyday life. Go on reading this article to the end!
One Side of the Coin: 5 Advantages of Critical Thinking
Critical thinking involves many useful abilities:
- The ability to think clearly and rationally;
- The ability to analyze information objectively;
- The ability to understand the logical connection between ideas;
- The ability to make reasoned judgments, etc.
Let’s find out why these abilities are considered to be useful.
1. You Are Able to Evaluate Issues without Bias
Most people approach issues in a different way – someone relies on his/her beliefs, experiences, emotions or someone else’s opinions. All that influences how you deal with one or another issue, especially it concerns such controversial topics as abortion, capital punishment, animal testing or immigration. There are a lot of questions to be answered with reference to solid evidence. And what can help you gather it? Right, it’s critical thinking that helps you gather and assess relevant information to interpret it effectively for well-reasoned conclusions and solutions.
2. You Can Foresee How Things Will Turn out
Will-power, knowledge, skills, motivation, knowing the right people, being at the right time and in the right place is all that makes a person succeed in the modern world. And yet, there is one more point that allows achieving success – it is the ability to predict what will happen or be needed in the future. How is it possible? You learn the current issues in an objective and critical way understanding the logical links between ideas and arguments. For example, Heather A. Butler with her colleagues, Christopher Pentoney, Mabelle P. Bong conducted research among 244 participants to explore the contribution of critical thinking and intelligence to the prediction of real-world outcomes. As a result, critical thinking is considered to be a better predictor of real-world outcomes than intelligence. So start to develop your critical thinking skills right now to know what will occur to various important fields – economics, business, marketing and sales, etc.
3. You Communicate with Others Sharing Your Ideas Effectively
After you evaluate an issue and predict all possible outcomes, it is important to get out a message to the target audience – be it your chief, colleagues or professors. As a rule, critical thinking detaches all our emotions from expressing an idea in public. You just take a practical view of the situation at hand – how to solve a problem in mutual collaboration with colleagues or other people. At the same time, open mind for a different view that you can also perceive with the help of the ability to recognize valid logic.
4. You Are Trusted to Figure Out Solutions to Complex Problems
When a person is able to identify, analyze problems and even predict and solve them systematically rather than by intuition or instinct, it is particularly valuable. You still have to hope for the best – once you’ll be trusted to perform complex tasks in a company, for example. It means that the career promotion is guaranteed to you in this case. Additionally, it will influence your life in general. Yes, it is a great responsibility to solve complex problems. But just imagine how many difficult questions could be answered if you applied your critical thinking skills in practice.
5. You Are Highly Appreciated by Employers
You have been already explained the perspectives in a professional career when critical thinking is one of your strengths. What do usually students do when graduating from a college or university? “Where to find a job of my dream?” is a common question for graduates. That’s why if you want to succeed in a job search quickly, start succeeding in critical thinking. Be sure most doors of top business companies will be open to you if an HR specialist notices your good critical thinking skills in resumes, cover letters, or during job interviews. Most companies call for job applicants that are critical thinkers, communicative, collaborative, and creative. It means that besides being equipped with good reading, writing, and arithmetic skills, don’t neglect four specific skills that are known as the “Four Cs” – critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.
The Flip Side to the Coin: 5 Disadvantages of Critical Thinking
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. When you were asked in childhood, “What would you like to be?” and you might automatically reply, “I want to be a journalist when I grow up.” or “I dream to become an artist.” But then you really did grow up and all the innocence and positive outlook were 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’re simply frowning.
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 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 times it’s going to leach the fun out of everything and exasperate your friends around you. Remember the words of Dr. Richard Paul: “Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking while you’re thinking in order to make your thinking better.” and improve the way you think today!