Critical Thinking In Problem Solving Process

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We Think Critically throughout the day

Humans are addicted to thinking. Our thought process fuels our emotions and desires. The thinking process starts from the time we wake up and up until we are deep in sleep. Consider reading this blog now, the real sense of this blog comes from your thinking process. We make decisions based on our unconscious thinking which can be prejudiced by emotions, ego, self-justifying nature, etc. When you make the thinking a conscious effort through critical thinking, significant improvements can be achieved in the thought process.

Critical Thinking Scenario

Consider the case where someone states that ‘food supplements are bad for the body': Do you accept that as fact or think critically to find out whether the above statement is indeed correct. The problem-solving process involves asking various questions like below to evaluate the statement.

  • Do you understand what food supplements mean?
  • Do the doctors approve these?
  • What are the different types of supplements available?
  • Are all food supplements bad?
  • Are all types of vegetables/fruits/meat/seafood available across different geographies?
  • Is it required for all climatic conditions?  A person from the cold regions might find Vitamin D supplement essential due to weak sunlight but a person from a tropical region will find it unessential.

Standards of Critical Thinking

According to Foundation of critical thinking, there are about ten standards which critical thinkers should consider applying critical thinking in the problem-solving process. They are Clarity, Relevance, Accuracy, Significance, Fairness, Completeness, Breadth, Depth, Logicalness and Precision. They recommend that all of these standards should be taken into consideration when solving a problem or before taking any decision.

Critical Thinking In Problem Solving Process

Critical Thinking Process

The problem-solving process involves following

  1. Understanding the problem clearly: Asking as many questions to understand the problem.
  2. Ensuring all the details of the problem is understood by avoiding intellectual laziness.
  3. Ensuring accuracy of the information: It is important not to hold any prejudice or to generalize the problem.
  4. Assessing which are the facts that are relevant to the current problem.
  5. Evaluating the multiple views points about the problem.
  6. Understanding fully the complexities that are involved the problem.
  7. Trying to put together all the relevant information, viewpoints which make sense together.
  8. Derive a decision based on fairness which is not self-serving or biased.

Now, apply critical thinking to the above example that ‘Food supplements are bad for the body’. What conclusion do you arrive at?

I hope that you would apply critical thinking to arrive at decisions or solutions which are based on intellectual reasoning……

“Invest a few moments in thinking. It will pay good interest.” – Author Unknown

Mcgraw Hill Higher education highlights the Bloom’s taxonomy of thinking as Six steps of critical thinking

Bloom Modified levels of critical thinking skill

Step 1: Knowledge : Identify what is being said.

Step 2: Comprehension : Understand what is being said.

Step 3: Application :  Understand how it is being used.

Step 4: Analysis : Understand how it works.

Step 5: Synthesis :  Try to combine it with some other knowledge and come up with something new.

Step 6: Evaluation : Verify whether your idea makes sense to the real world.


About Nisha Gopalakrishnan 15 Articles
A software professional, blogger and an enthusiast of latest technology news and startup ideas.

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