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10 Ways to Improve Critical Thinking

Written by, Martina Georgievska

Updated March, 15, 2022

Taking tasks head-on whether, for school, work or personal projects doesn’t always yield the best results. We’ll cover ways that will give you a view of how to improve your critical thinking, experience, and thoughts most effectively.

10 Ways To Improve Critical Thinking

Doing Your Research

Taking time to know about a subject whether it’s a familiar one or not, can help in getting a better picture of the topic. Reading and learning more about a topic will help get new observations and challenge what you currently know. 

Dealing with Your Ego

Self-absorption can hinder us from seeing and understanding what’s in front of us. At times it could be somewhat dangerous because it can take us away from reality. Takedown your pride and practice seeing things from a fresh perspective.

Taking Time

Allow yourself to take a moment and think things through. Developing critical thinking skills requires time to reflect, analyse and then come up with a solution. Less mindful decisions or solutions can potentially cause more delays in a task.

Analyzing the Information

Information can be overwhelming and put us at a loss on how to handle it. Seeking and focusing on qualitative and quantitative data can help us practice a more robust and unbiased way of looking at facts instead of simply coming up with hasty assumptions.

Accepting that you are Not Always Right

Humility must be practised and is an essential part of removing personal bias to develop critical thinking skills. Step back and reflect on how you’ve come up with that assumption and challenge your initial thoughts on it. Accept that it’s okay to know you’re wrong and avoid unhealthy arguments.

Considering the Risk

Averting risk can be an instinct for most people. Some are more wired to braving risks. But when it comes to critical thinking, one should be able to assess the risk first before declining or jumping into a decision.

Being an Active Listener

How is hearing different from listening? Hearing can be mere sound waves or noise picked by our ears. Active listening takes place when a person processes every bit of information shared by another person. This includes being aware of the emotions and nuances that go along with the message.

Talking to a Different Group of People

Critical thinking strategies such as looking at another point of view is key to widening one’s knowledge. The world is undeniably huge and learning about other people’s experiences can help you see a different perspective.

Not Overcomplicating Things

Analysis paralysis can happen to the best of us. How do we overcome it? Take a step back and keep it simple. Sometimes problems sound complicated but solutions don’t always need to be as complex.

Asking Questions

Asking questions is one of the most important skills to have. This allows you to actively seek information that could help you arrive at the best decision. This practice gives you the chance to understand different ideas better and predict likely outcomes.

4 Best Courses for Critical Thinking Skills

We’ve come up shortlist of the best courses we found to be helpful in this area if you need extra help with honing your critical thinking.

How to Think Differently: 7 Easy Steps to Master Mental Models, Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

This brilliant Skillshare course by Troye Bates already has over a thousand students where more than 80% satisfaction rate. We love how each lesson is just 10 minutes long, totalling 1.5 hours.

It teaches students to learn critical thinking with just seven mental models and focuses on how the mind works. It covers how to apply logic and reason, being a master of strategy, becoming a big-picture thinker, and tips on how to reflect before taking action.

Philosophy and Critical Thinking

edX is known to have the best online courses as the classes are taught by reputable universities such as The University of Queensland in Australia. True enough, their take on philosophy and critical thinking is one of the best because it focuses on the core of critical thinking and also highlights the benefits of critical thinking.

It dives into how metacognition helps individuals structure thoughts better, construct sound arguments, and ask hard questions. This course provides various learning goals from casual learners of one lesson per week or intense learning with 5 lessons per week. It offers basics of critical thinking and philosophy, access to in-depth interviews of leading philosophical minds, and an option with full range assessment.

Critical Thinking for Better Judgment and Decision-Making

Another course that could help increase critical thinking is Linkedin Learning’s course by Becki Saltzman, an author, speaker and founder of Applied Curiosity Lab.

Compared to the other courses offering video tutorials on critical thinking, this is the shortest and most straightforward one. Each video is only about four minutes long and would take about less than an hour to finish all of them.

The lessons cover the critical thinking difference, how to minimise bad judgment, improve decision quality, critical thinking fallacies, and how to create the critical thinking culture of curiosity.

Master your Decision-Making, and Critical Thinking Skills

Udemy’s course offers strategies to improve critical thinking skills such as de-biasing techniques, looking out for logical fallacies, and understanding the different cognitive biases.

It runs for 4.5 hours in total, covers 57 lectures in 7 main sections. If you’re looking for one that does an in-depth discussion of various biases such as status quo bias, availability heuristic, confirmation bias, halo effect, priming effect, anchoring effect, and optimism bias, then this is perfect for you.

The course also provides checkpoints and quizzes after certain topics to ensure learners’ understanding through each topic. It also includes 12 downloadable resources and allows access on mobile.

Bottom line 

We use critical thinking in our day to day life and it’s essential that we have the ability to evaluate and make sense of things. Continue practising these 10 ways to improve critical thinking and you should be on your way to better actions and decision-making.

An aspiring linguist with a background in teaching, I decided to use my years of experience to educate my audience through writing. The chance to apply my knowledge to my articles, fueled by my passion for research helped me develop my skills and learn more along the way, awakening my interest in even more topics. When I’m not typing behind my desk, you’ll find me learning a new language or pouring my thoughts into rhymes.