What are critical thinking skills?

22 Mar 2023

Questioning assumptions, looking at multiple solutions, and seeing the big picture are all key components of critical thinking. This vital skill helps us solve problems more efficiently and make better decisions in our everyday lives. But what exactly are "critical thinking skills", and why is it so important? In this blog post, we'll look in-depth into what these skills mean, how to develop them, and some specific examples to show how powerful they can be.

What is Critical Thinking? 

Critical thinking is a set of skills that allows us to evaluate situations effectively and make logical decisions. It is an invaluable tool for making daily decisions and developing problem-solving skills to handle complex problems confidently. Critical thinking requires an individual to be open-minded, analytical, objective, and logical while approaching tasks. It requires evaluating arguments and ideas objectively, performing sound reasoning, formulating questions, drawing conclusions based on evidence, and using rigorous judgement when evaluating statements. Ultimately, critical thinking empowers us to take ownership of our lives, which is essential for making sound decisions as we navigate through them.

Identifying the Elements of Critical Thinking 

Identifying the elements of critical thinking involves recognising the various qualities that encircle and embody the skill itself. Critical thinking requires sincerely evaluating ideas and evidence for validity or worth. It demands open-mindedness, as one must consider all sides of an argument objectively and dispassionately. It must be actively cultivated, as it challenges even the most logical minds to take on a fresh perspective without falling into mental habits or biases. Each element also compels those who engage with it to create creative solutions to real-world problems. Successful critical thinkers have honed their skills to a point where they can trust hard facts, instincts, and intuition. However, people with ADHD get a hard time learning critical thinking. Still, they fix this issue by taking prescribed medication such as Adderall to treat their condition and be as good as other healthy people. 

Examining Problem-Solving Using Critical Thinking Skills 

Examining problems and developing solutions is a crucial aspect of any successful workplace. Critical thinking skills help us identify problems, evaluate alternatives, develop possible solutions, and choose the best path forward. These skills allow us to take a more logical and analytical approach to problem-solving rather than relying purely on luck or instinct. With critical thinking as our foundation, we can work through complex challenges effectively for lasting success.

Understanding the Different Types of Thinking 

Understanding the different types of thinking is an essential part of critical thinking. There are various ways to think, from creative and abstract thinking to problem-solving and analytical thinking. Creative thinking involves asking 'what if' questions, developing new ideas and looking at a situation from an original perspective. Problem-solving requires identifying potential solutions that are both effective and efficient. Analytical thinking involves examining cases, understanding the underlying cause, breaking down complex topics into simpler parts, making reasoned judgments, considering facts and opinions and forming conclusions based on evidence. Developing these skills allows us to analyse complex scenarios and make sound decisions.

Exploring the Benefits of Developing and Enhancing Critical Thinking Skills 

Critical thinking skills are fundamental tools used to analyse and evaluate information, enabling us to make informed decisions that shape our lives and the lives of others. Developing and enhancing these essential skills can have a lasting impact on any individual as they:

  • Allow an individual to evaluate concepts objectively

  • Actively seek out and identify evidence

  • Distinguish between facts and opinions

  • Consider potential outcomes

  • Question assumptions

  • Conclude and communicate thoughtfully

 In addition, having a well-developed set of critical thinking skills allows us to think deeply about complex topics, reason effectively despite challenging contexts, and develop intellectual curiosity and respect for opposing views. Ultimately, developing such skills can equip individuals with the capacity to think more flexibly, adapt to changing circumstances and become better problem solvers.


Critical thinking skills are essential in many facets of life, whether in the classroom, the workplace or home. Engaging with any form of problem-solving requires critical thinking – and its application can be found almost everywhere. Developing and honing such skills is also beneficial for improving communication, decision-making, self-understanding and reasoning. The path to developing one's approach to engaging in critical thinking includes self-awareness and the development of a well-rounded perspective. It involves looking at issues from different angles with an open mindset encompassing new ideas while offering impartial analysis. Ultimately, those who take the time to comprehend how to employ critical thinking effectively will reap future rewards.