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Eleven Characteristics Of Critical Thinkers

by David Brock on June 18th, 2008
Several days ago, commented on the topic of “Why Managers Don’t Think Deeply.” Apparently, based on responses I received, there is some interest in this topic. I thought it would be worthwhile to share some characteristics of critical thinkers.
  1. Have a passion for clarity, precision, accuracy, relevance, consistency, logical-ness, completeness, and fairness.
  2. Are sensitive to ways in which critical thinking can be skewed by egocentrism, wishful thinking, biases, and ignorance.
  3. Are intellectually honest with themselves, acknowledging their limitations and lack of knowledge.
  4. Listen open-mindedly to opposing points of view, welcoming criticisms of beliefs and assumptions.
  5. Base their views on facts and evidence rather than on self interest.
  6. Are aware of biases and preconceptions that shape they way they perceive the world.
  7. Think independently and are not afraid to disagree with the group opinion.
  8. Are able to get to the heart of an issue or problem without being distracted by details.
  9. Have the courage to consider ideas that may challenge their own position or beliefs.
  10. Love truth and are curious about a wide range of issues.
  11. Have the intellectual honesty to pursue insights or truths, despite obstacles or difficulties.

(I have adapted these from a lecture given by Zaid Ali Alsagoff of Unitar.)

  1. Brian MacIver (@Palayo) permalink

    True 8 years ago, and still true today!
    Great Piece, Dave. Thanks.

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