What is Critical Thinking? Definition and Levels of Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a necessary skill for everyone in the information age when we come into contact with countless different sources of information. Let's learn about critical thinking through this article by Recruitery.

What is Critical Thinking?

Definition of Critical Thinking

Critical thinking includes three main components: knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

  • Knowledge: Basic knowledge of logic, reasoning, principles of deduction, and common thinking errors. Knowledge helps us understand how arguments are constructed, how information is presented, and how conclusions are drawn.
  • Skills: The skills to apply knowledge to analyze, evaluate, and create arguments logically, objectively, and creatively. 

For example: Recognizing problems, asking questions, gathering information, classifying information, comparing and contrasting information, searching for evidence, identifying hypotheses, and more.

  • Attitude: Positive and practical attitudes to practice critical thinking. 

For example: The desire to learn the truth, willingness to listen and understand other people's points of view, having a sense of self-criticism, and providing criticism of others politely and cooperatively.

Levels of Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is not a fixed skill but a process that continuously develops with time and experience. It can be divided into six levels according to the Bloom model:

Level 1: Communicate Clearly About a Specific Content

This is the most basic level of critical thinking. At this level, we have the ability to understand the meaning of words and express the knowledge we have learned through retelling, describing, or explaining specific content.

For example: Clearly communicating what critical thinking is.

Level 2: Reasoning and Defending Personal Views

This is the next level of critical thinking. At this level, we are able to apply the knowledge we have learned to real-life situations, express our personal views on an issue or argument, and defend our views by giving reasons or evidence.

For example: Arguing and defending the idea that critical thinking is an important skill for everyone.

Level 3: Basic Debate

This is a more advanced level of critical thinking. At this level, we are able to analyze and evaluate other people's arguments, recognize thinking errors or biases in arguments, and engage in fundamental debates with others by providing feedback, criticism, or new arguments.

For example: Having a basic debate with another person about whether critical thinking really works or not.

Level 4: Effective Debate

This is an even higher level of critical thinking. At this level, we are able to generate arguments logically, objectively, and creatively, present and organize arguments clearly and convincingly, and effectively engage in debates with others using listening, speaking, and writing skills.

For example: Debating effectively with others about whether critical thinking can be applied to different fields.

Level 5: Practice Regularly

This is almost the highest level of critical thinking. At this level, we are able to practice critical thinking regularly in everyday life, solve complex or ambiguous problems, and learn from the experiences and feedback of others.

For example: Regularly practicing critical thinking when reading newspapers, watching the news, shopping, or working.

Level 6: Effective Thinking

This is the highest level of critical thinking. At this level, we have the ability to think effectively, using critical thinking in combination with other thinking skills such as creative thinking, critical thinking, or comprehensive thinking to solve new or unprecedented problems and create new or innovative solutions.

For example: Thinking effectively when faced with new challenges or opportunities in life or work.

What is the Role of Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking helps improve the brain

Critical thinking plays a very important role in our lives and work. Some benefits of critical thinking include:

  • Having a comprehensive and objective view of the problem, not influenced by bias or prejudice.
  • Finding effective and creative solutions to complex and constantly changing problems.
  • Avoiding mistakes, risks, and negative consequences due to lack of careful thinking.
  • Developing communication, collaboration, and leadership skills because critical thinking requires us to listen, argue, and persuade with a stance and evidence.
  • Learning and absorbing new knowledge effectively and quickly.

Methods to Improve Critical Thinking

Critical thinking has methods of improvement

To improve critical thinking, we can apply some of the following methods:

  • Asking questions to clarify the nature, origin, purpose, and meaning of a problem or new information.
  • Looking for evidence to support or refute opinions or viewpoints.
  • Comparing and contrasting different opinions or viewpoints to find similarities, differences, advantages, and disadvantages.
  • Testing and changing solutions or conclusions to check their effectiveness and reasonableness.

Critical thinking is a very important and necessary skill in the 4.0 era. We should practice and develop critical thinking to be able to face changes and challenges in life and work. Recruitery hopes that through this article, you have a better understanding of critical thinking.