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When evaluating information or an argument, ask yourself the following: The ability to infer and draw conclusions based on the information presented to you is another important skill for mastering critical thinking.
It’s also important to know that not all sources are equally valid—take the time to learn the difference between popular and scholarly articles.
This skill can be exceedingly difficult, as even the smartest among us can fail to recognize biases.
Does the person posing the argument offer where they got this information from?
If you ask or try to find it yourself and there’s no clear answer, that should be considered a red flag.
No matter what walk of life you come from, what industry you’re interested in pursuing or how much experience you’ve already garnered, we’ve all seen firsthand the importance of critical thinking skills.
In fact, lacking such skills can truly make or break a person’s career, as the consequences of one’s inability to process and analyze information effectively can be massive.“The ability to think critically is more important now than it has ever been,” urges Kris Potrafka, founder and CEO of Music Firsthand.“Everything is at risk if we don’t all learn to think more critically.” If people cannot think critically, he explains, they not only lessen their prospects of climbing the ladder in their respective industries, but they also become easily susceptible to things like fraud and manipulation.You’ll often need to assess the information given and draw conclusions based upon raw data.The ability to infer allows you to extrapolate and discover potential outcomes when assessing a scenario.The best way to combat this is independent verification; find the source of the information and evaluate.How to improve: It can be helpful to develop an eye for unsourced claims.Even if you want to be a better critical thinker, it’s hard to improve upon something you can’t define.Critical thinking is the analysis of an issue or situation and the facts, data or evidence related to it.The first step in the critical thinking process is to identify the situation or problem as well as the factors that may influence it.Once you have a clear picture of the situation and the people, groups or factors that may be influenced, you can then begin to dive deeper into an issue and its potential solutions.