We are living in the age of “fake news” and “alternative facts”, straight up lying seems to be an accepted part of news and politics. Because of this, simply being able to tell exactly what is going on can be difficult. To be able to think critically is now a very important skill.
Though what exactly is critical thinking? Critical thinking is when you are presented with a piece of information and engage with it independently and actively to discern how accurate it is. Too often we are encouraged to be passive with news and information, it can seem sometimes that we are being told how to react, think, and feel by the media or other sources.
This is avoided if you think critically. If you think critically you will be guided through life by your own observations, knowledge, and experience, and not be led.
5 Traits of skilled critical thinkers
But what exactly are the benefits? Surely it can’t just come down to being able to watch the news objectively? Well, that’s true, there are many, many benefits of being a great critical thinker, here are just five.
- Skilled at finding the subtle links between two different pieces of information to form a larger whole.
- Good at turning their critical thinking skills inwards, and as such can pick up and judge their own biases or prejudices, which is the key for their ultimate removal.
- More desirous to remain well informed and knowledgeable as information governs their worldview.
- More open-minded as critical thinkers by their nature can think for themselves. There is none the less the openness for their minds to change when new information is presented.
- More creative as whatever you write, draw, film, sculpt, paint, dance, act, or whatever you love to do, has tiny traces of the work of other similar great artists who came before.
A critical mind can take these influences and use them effectively, also, the open mindedness of a critical thinker means that they won’t shoot down any ideas that come to their mind. Something which, you may well know, can stop a creative project in its tracks.