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self-leadership

Critical Thinking Mindset

A critical thinking mindset supports people to reflect by using critical thinking questions when they discover and discuss new information. Critical thinking involves the evaluation of sources such as data, facts, media, stories, observable phenomenon, and research findings. Good critical thinkers can draw reasonable conclusions from a set of information and discriminate between useful and less useful details to solve a problem or to make a decision. Critical thinking skills are key to making better, and well informed decisions.

  1. Step 1:

    Choose a topic to bring into your critical thinking evaluation.

  2. Step 2:

    Below you will find broad and versatile Critical Thinking Questions to apply to your topic of choice.

    Process: Ask these questions when you discover or discuss new information.

    These are broad and versatile questions that have limitless applications.

    Use a pen and paper to write out your questions and answers, or use a computer if you choose.

  3. Step 3:

    WHO

    • Benefits from this?
    • Is this harmful to?
    • Makes decisions about this?
    • Is more directly affected?
    • Have you heard discuss this?
    • Would be the best person to consult?
    • Will be the key people in this?
    • Deserves recognition for this?
  4. Step 4:

    WHAT

    • Are the strengths/weaknesses?
    • Is another perspective?
    • Is another alternative?
    • Would be a counter-argument?
    • Is the best/worst case scenario?
    • Is the most/least important?
    • Can we do to make a positive change?
    • Is getting in the way of our actions?
  5. Step 5:

    WHERE

    • Would we see this in the real world?
    • Are there similar concepts/situation?
    • Is there the most need for this?
    • In the world would this be a problem?
    • Can we get more information?
    • Do we go for help with this?
    • Will this idea take us?
    • Are the areas for improvement?
  6. Step 6:

    WHEN

    • Is this acceptable/unacceptable?
    • Would this benefit our society?
    • Would this cause a problem?
    • Is the best time to take action?
    • Will we know we’ve succeeded?
    • Has this played a part in our history?
    • Can we expect this to change?
    • Should we ask for help with this?
  7. Step 7:

    WHY

    • Is this a problem/challenge?
    • Is it relevant to me/others?
    • In this the best/worst scenario?
    • Are people influenced by this?
    • Should people know about this?
    • Has it been this way for so long?
    • Have we allowed this to happen?
    • Is there a need for this today?
  8. Step 8:

    HOW

    • Is this similar to _________?
    • Does this disrupt things?
    • Do we know the truth about this?
    • Will we approach this safely?
    • Does this benefit us/others?
    • Does this harm us/others?
    • Do we see this in the future?
    • Can we change this for our good?
  9. Step 9:

    A critical thinking mindset could be described as the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking.

    In essence, critical thinking requires you to use your ability to reason. It is about being an active learner rather than a passive recipient of information.

    Critical thinkers question ideas and assumptions rather than accepting them at face value. They seek to determine whether the ideas, arguments and findings represent the entire picture - and are open to finding out if they don't.

    Critical thinkers will identify, analyse and solve problems systematically rather than by intuition or instinct only.