Critical thinking really confuses people

The 4 phases of critical thinking

Critical thinking is a sought-after skill - now more than ever. Information is distributed in real time across the entire globe, and if you want to keep up, you not only need a quick grasp, but above all the talent to survey, analyze and correctly classify the knowledge that has been collected. The great debate about fake news shows how difficult it can be to think and critically To scrutinize information accordinglybefore they are accepted or even disseminated. We'll provide you four phases before, which people go through on the way to critical thinking and show how you can get to the higher level ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Why critical thinking is so important

Critical thinking is also very important to many employers on the job. A Team full of yes-men perhaps has the charm that there can never be disagreements or even disputes, but really good results are usually not achieved in this way either.

It is a big mistake to believe that colleagues and superiors always have to agree. If everything is always approved from the start, there is no analysis and therefore no improvement. If employees, on the other hand, think critically, they are also ready to address possible difficulties or make their own suggestions. Superiors and companies are increasingly recognizing these advantages and are demanding more critical thinking from employees.

For two other good reasons:

  • Recognize correct information. An almost unimaginable amount of information can be gathered on almost every topic. On the one hand this is of course a great advantage in order to get a complete picture, on the other hand it brings with it the challenge of recognizing the right information as such and filtering other things.
  • Draw important insights. Access to the crucial information is the basic requirement, but it doesn't really help much at first. Only critical thinking and questioning make it possible to draw the right conclusions from data, facts and knowledge and to derive an opinion, decision or action.

However, critical thinking is a skill like any other - not everyone has one, but it can be learned. The following applies: Every beginning is difficult, because on the way to critical thinking you go through these different phases:

4 stages of critical thinking that everyone goes through

  1. Phase: Thinking outside the box

    This phase is mainly found in children, but unfortunately also in one or the other in adulthood. This phase is characterized above all by the fact that one's own perception and perception of information is very strongly influenced by the environment. In a nutshell: You believe what others say to you.

    In the first phase, your own thinking is heavily dependent on the people you surround yourself with, but society and the media also have a great influence. Special care should be taken to avoid this at this time exploited or manipulated to become.

    The best way to escape thinking outside the box is to build up self-confidence. The more you trust that you can make up your own mind, the faster you can renounce the opinions of others and come to your own conclusions.

  2. Phase: Contrast Thinking

    Yes or no, right or wrong, good or bad. The second phase is characterized by opposing poles, which, however, do not yet allow for middle solutions. Almost everything will be in two extreme categories divided, which is hardly possible in reality, which usually falsifies the overall picture.

    In addition, there are mistakes in reasoning that are made in order to adapt information to one's own view of the world. So become contradicting Information simply hidden or declared untrue. True to the motto: I see it differently, so it can't be true ...

    You can reach the third phase when you realize that it is after all there is much more than just black and white. Try to broaden your horizons and embrace the many different shades of gray. It is helpful if you deal with new things and deal with previously unknown topics - openly and impartially.

  3. Phase: reflective thinking

    Anyone who reaches this stage has already taken a big step. Information is reflected and questioned, Advantages and disadvantages are weighed up and the veracity is checked.

    An essential aspect of the third phase: not only new information is analyzed, also existing information supposed knowledge is called into question again, because it was recognized that things can change and that everything that was once believed to be right is not necessarily right. This self-reflection results in an increasingly clear point of view.

    The step into the final phase requires above all else Practice and experience, whereby you always open up new perspectives for yourself and are able to give deeper reflections and analyze concepts.

  4. Phase 4: Analytical-critical thinking

    In the fourth phase the different aspects come together. You question critically, think logically and analyze information. At the same time you have one self-critical point of view that allows you to question your own judgment - without falling into self-doubt.

    Your critical thinking is now so good that many times you already are intuitively from the gut make the right decision. In doing so, you can draw on a wealth of experience, but at the same time you can withdraw yourself to look at things as neutrally as possible.

    In the final phase, challenges no longer represent lasting problems. You recognize which points are particularly important and go for each one Problem right at the root at. Analytical-critical thinking is therefore particularly important for all solution-oriented people.

What You Should Know About Thinking

If you think that you think then you only think you think ... One thing is clear: Thinking is complicatedalthough in many cases it feels awfully simple at first. After all, we do it all the time, every day, every minute, every second.

One would think that we should actually know everything about thinking in itself. But far from it. Most people know very little about what is going on on their minds all the time. Too bad, so we picked out interesting studies that shed light on how our thinking really works and at the same time impart knowledge with which one can impress and astonish others ...

  1. Short term memory is really short

    The Short term memory effect Everyone knows who has stood in the supermarket and suddenly had absolutely no idea what they actually wanted to buy, which usually ends in the fact that the realization only comes back at home and you have to go back frustrated. Sometimes you forget what you wanted there in the first place on the short walk to the refrigerator or to another room. In fact, short-term memory is much shorter than most people think.

    Information that is not carried over to long-term memory begins disappear from the brain after just a few seconds. The psychologists Lloyd and Margaret Peterson were able to prove this in their studies at the end of the 1950s. The subjects were asked to memorize simple combinations of three letters each.

    After a few seconds, many rows could still be played back, but already with a query after just 18 seconds the participants could only remember about one of ten combinations. It therefore makes all the more sense to write down thoughts and ideas - at the exact moment you have them.

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  2. All senses are used in thinking

    Everyone is almost constantly exposed to a real overstimulation. There is something to see everywhere, it flashes and glows in the most colorful colors, at the same time there are many noises that call for attention. Without us really noticing anything, it is The task of the brain and our thinking to order all these impressions and passed on filtered to the consciousness.

    In most cases it works amazingly well, but this system can also be tricked - with amazing results. The so-called McGurk Effectthat you cannot always trust your senses and your thinking.

    A brief explanation would be that seeing, well visual perception has a higher priority than hearing and is therefore more dominant, but it's best to try it out yourself.

  3. Those who are incapable are not aware of it

    In our thinking we are true masters at turning the world around so that it fits into our own picture. Not only will lied and glossed over that the beams bend, but also ignored, added, twisted and adjusteduntil the self-image corresponds to what one would like to have.

    This self-deception is particularly pronounced among people with the least abilities - at least that is what the Dunning-Kruger effect, which was named after its discoverer, says. Therefore Incompetent people repeatedly overestimate their own abilities and do not even notice how incompetent they actually are, accordingly cannot learn anything and on top of that underestimate the competence of everyone else.

    A vicious circle in which those affected get further and more entangled, as it is firmly anchored in their thinking and they can hardly break away from it. All information that contradicts this self-created fallacy is simply ignored or dismissed as unjustified criticism.

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  4. Thought is guided by formulations

    We humans like to see ourselves as logically thinking being that is guided by rationality and so is able to always find a sensible solution to every problem or at least make well-thought-out decisions in which all eventualities have been considered.

    That may be partly true, but ours can be Thinking very strongly influenced by different formulations. Don't you think that it is so easy and that the highly praised rationality can be so easily undermined? Then you just have to look at what happens when the same information is packaged differently.

    Imagine a doctor who recommends treatment with an 85 percent chance of recovery. Sounds good? In a similar experiment, almost 75 percent of the participants saw it too. However, if the doctor spoke of a 15 percent risk that the treatment would not work and it could be fatal, just over 20 percent found the chances promising - although it was in both cases The information was completely identical, just packaged differently - the so-called framing effect.

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  5. Truly logical thinking poses problems for many people

    Again on the subject of logical thinking, the apparent masterpiece of the human mind. Yet most people should not boast too much of this ability. In fact, it has been shown time and again that Really logical thinking is very difficult and in most cases leads to confusion.

    You can experience this on your own body, or rather on your own head, with the various logic puzzleswhich can all be resolved through seemingly simple, logical connections, but instead always lead to despair.

    It often goes so far that not even the resolution is really helpful and tends to add to the confusionthan to provide an enlightenment. After all, our thinking is not as formally logical as we always want to convince ourselves.

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  6. Mindsets can contribute to success

    A person's mindset can tell researchers and scientists a great deal about how well and successful a person is in a certain area is. The corresponding study on this dates back to 1981 and was able to show that experts and beginners have completely different thoughts on the same topic.

    This doesn't seem surprising at first, after all, experts simply have a greater wealth of knowledge in a field from which they can draw. In fact, it was that too Way of thinkingthat set the professionals apart from the rest.

    While the newcomers to the topic dealt with the superficial problems and questions of a task and already mostly desperate or lost a lot of time, the experts concentrated on the underlying effects and effects (the study was about physical issues). The results showed that this abstract and questioning thinking is an important success factor is - and therefore can only be recommended for everyone.

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November 11, 2020Author: Nils Warkentin

Nils Warkentin studied business administration at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen. On the career bible, he is devoted to topics related to studies, career entry and everyday office life.

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